Friday, August 28, 2015

My newest plants

I'm excited!

I always get excited when my new seeds sprout.
This is one of my newest Atropa Belladonna sprouts as of August 27, 2015 from my collection.

Here is some great info about Atropa Belladonna ...



Belladonna (Atropa belladonna, also known as "Deadly Nightshade") was thought to be an herb tended by the Devil himself, except on Walpurgis Night, when the Devil retired to prepare a witches' sabbath.



Belladonna is one of the most toxic plants found in the Eastern Hemisphere and has been considered
one of the most poisonous herbs in the world.


From suicide to murder, belladonna has been a favorite tool for centuries to bring about a quick (and unpleasant) death.




This plant contains potent tropane alkaloids; scopolamine, atropine & hyoscamine which can produce hallucinations and delirium

There were, of course, many evil uses.  

Atropa belladonna is a perennial with reddish, bell-shaped flowers that bear glossy-coated, black berries.

The plant earns its sinister nicknames, as its foliage and berries are extremely toxic, containing potent dosages of tropane alkaloids.


Belladonna blooms in midsummer through early fall, and its roots are thick, fleshy, and white, growing to about 6 inches or more in length.


Atropa Belladonna
It has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison. 

Before the Middle Ages, it was used as an anesthetic for surgery; the ancient Romans used it as a poison (the wife of Emperor Augustus and the wife of Claudius both were rumored to have used it for murder); and, predating this, it was used to make poison-tipped arrows. 


Close up of Belladonna


The genus name Atropa comes from Atropos, one of the three Fates in Greek mythology: "To cut the life" and the name "bella donna" is derived from Italian and means "beautiful lady" because the herb was used in eye-drops by women to dilate the pupils of the eyes to make them appear seductive.

The symptoms of belladonna poisoning include:

dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, tachycardia, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, severely dry mouth and throat, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, hallucinations, memory loss, delirium, convulsions and death.


On August 15, 2015, I planted 100 atropa belladonna seeds.
In the first image above, that little sprout is the first one to sprout in this particular batch.




Belladonna Berries


The fruit and berries appear green when growing, but, as the toxins get stronger in the ripening stage, they turn to a shiny black color. 


Not only are its dark berries sometimes known as murderer’s berries, sorcerer’s berries, and devil’s berries, they are thought to be the poison that caused Juliet to appear dead in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”


Belladonna is so toxic that eating only a small quantity of its leaves or berries can be fatal to humans.

Needless to say, when I handle any of my plants, their roots, water from their roots and or berries, I do so with gloves, and soap and water nearby.



Questions? Contact me