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Solanum nigrum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Solanales
Family: Solanaceae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. nigrum
Binomial name
Solanum nigrum
L.
Subspecies

S. nigrum subsp. nigrum
S. nigrum subsp. schultesii

Black nightshade berries
Black nightshade flowers

Solanum nigrum (European Black Nightshade or locally just "black nightshade", Duscle, Garden Nightshade, Hound's Berry, Petty Morel, Wonder Berry, Small-fruited black nightshade or popolo) is a species in the Solanum genus, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas and Australasia.

Contents

Description

Black nightshade is a fairly common herb or short-lived perennial shrub, found in many wooded areas, as well as disturbed habitats. It has a height of 30-120 cm (12-48"), leaves 4-7.5 cm (1 1/2-3") long) and 2-5 cm wide (1-2 1/2"); ovate to heart-shaped, with wavy or large-toothed edges; both surfaces hairy or hairless; petiole 1-3 cm (1/2-1") long with a winged upper portion. The flowers have petals greenish to whitish, recurved when aged and surround prominent bright yellow anthers. The berry is mostly 6–8 mm (1/4-3/4") diam., dull black or purple-black.[1]

The black ripe berry can be posionous, but low toxicity variants are directly consumable and the leaves are cooked and consumed. In India, another strain is found with berries that turn red when ripe.

Sometimes Solanum nigrum is confused for deadly nightshade, a different Solanaceae species altogether.

Toxicity

Red Makoi or Solanum nigrum berries attached to the stalk with green unripe berries that are believed to be poisonous whereas the ripe "Red Makoi" is edible and is often used in anti-inflammatory medicine.

All parts of the plant are poisonous containing solanine and other related glycoalkaloids; the toxins are most concentrated in the unripe green berries.[2] Initial symptoms of toxicity include fever, sweating, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, confusion, and drowsiness. These symptoms are typically delayed for 6 to 12 hours after ingestion.[2][3] The glycoalkaloid solanine is extremely toxic, and can be fatal. Death can result from the ingestion of high doses of plant parts, causing cardiac arrhythmias and respiratory failure.

The toxicity of Solanum nigrum varies and there are some strains which have edible berries when fully ripe.[4]

Culinary usage

In India, the berries are casually grown and eaten; but not cultivated for commercial use. The berries are referred to as "fragrant tomato," or மணத்தக்காளி - manathakkaali in Tamil, Kamanchi in Sanskrit and Telugu, and makoi in Hindi. Although not very popular across much of its growing region, the fruit and dish are common in Northern Tamil Nadu, Southern Andhra and Southern Karnataka. In North India, the boiled extracts of leaves and berries are also used to alleviate the patient's discomfort in liver-related ailments, including jaundice.

In Ethiopia, the ripe berries are picked and eaten by children in normal times, while during famines all affected people would eat berries. In addition the leaves are collected by women and children, who cook the leaves in salty water and consumed like any other vegetable. Farmers in the Konso Special Woreda report that because S. nigrum matures before the maize is ready for harvesting, it is used as a food source until their crops are ready.[5] The Welayta people of the adjacent Semien Omo Zone do not weed out S. nigrum that appear in their gardens since they likewise cook and eat the leaves.[6]

Medicinal usage

Red Makoi or Solanum nigrum berries used for Therapeutic purposes and as an anti-inflammatory medicine.

The plant has a long history of medicinal usage, dating back to ancient Greece. This plant is also known as Peddakasha pandla koora in Telangana region. This plant's leaves are used to treat mouth ulcers that happen during winter periods of Tamil Nadu, India. Chinese experiments confirm that the plant inhibits growth of cervical carcinoma (Fitoterapia, 79, 2008, № 7-8, 548-556).

References

  1. ^ Solanum nigrum plant profile, New South Wales Flora Online[1]
  2. ^ a b Schep LJ, Slaughter RJ, Temple WA (April 3 2009). "Contaminant berries in frozen vegetables". The New Zealand Medical Journal 122 (1292): 95–6. PMID 19448780. http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/122-1292/3547/. 
  3. ^ Solanum nigrum profile, IPCS INCHEM [2]
  4. ^ Nancy J Turner, Adam F Szczawinski, "Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of North America" p.128
  5. ^ "Wild Food" Plans with "Famine Foods" Components: Solanum nigrum (Famine Food Guide website)
  6. ^ Zemede Asfaw, "Conservation and use of traditional vegetables in Ethiopia", Proceedings of the IPGRI International Workshop on Genetic Resources of Traditional Vegetables in Africa (Nairobi, 29-31 August 1995)

External links

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Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Solanum nigrum.jpg

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Solanales
Familia: Solanaceae
Subfamilia: Solanoideae
Genus: Solanum
Species: S. nigrum [1]
Subspecies: S. n. subsp. nigrum - S. n. subsp.  schultesii

Name

Solanum nigrum L., Sp. Pl. 186. 1753.

References

  1. Solanaceae Source

Vernacular names

Ελληνικά: Στύφνο
English: Black Nightshade
日本語: イヌホオズキ
Русский: Паслён чёрный
Suomi: Mustakoiso
Svenska: Nattskatta
Türkçe: Köpek üzümü
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Category:Solanum nigrum on Wikimedia Commons.

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