- Distinguishing features
- Deadly nightshade is a coarse herb with a thick, penetrating root. It has branched stems 2-5 feet tall. Its leaves are large, ovate, entire and alternately inserted but axillary buds develop rapidly so that the leaves appear to be inserted in pairs at the same point. Its solitary flowers are one inch long with five blunt points and dull purple color. The fruit is a purple to black berry.
- The toxins contained in deadly nightshade are calystegins, which are potent enzyme inhibitors that cause neurological problems.
- Deadly nightshade is mainly abused by humans for its hallucinogenic effects. It is one of the most common causes of poisonings in humans in Europe.
In ancient times, this plant was used to dilate women's pupils to make their eyes appear more beautiful.