[NAFEX] Poisonous Garden Huckleberry?

John Smith friendly27sw at yahoo.com
Wed May 30 16:22:14 EDT 2007

Thanks Jim, mine have white flowers and yellow centers
so hopefully they are safe when ripe!
--- Jim Fruth <jfruth at tds.net> wrote:

> John Smith wrote:  "I obtained some wonderberry seed
> from another gardener
> which I planted this spring.  The plants I have look
> similar to weeds that I always thought was some type
> of poisonous nightshade.  Does anyone have some
> identifying characteristics that would help me
> become
> more confident that these plants are not producing
> fruit that will poison me when consumed?"
> John,
>     Britton & Brown (Botanical Keys) list two
> Solanum species as poisonous. 
> One is sometimes called "Garden Huckleberry" and one
> is not.  The one that 
> is not is S. Dulcamara.  Its flowers are blue, with
> a yellow center, and its 
> berries are red.  It is free-standing but will climb
> like a vine.
>     One common name for Solanum nigrum is "Deadly
> Nightshade."  "Deadly" 
> couldn't possibly refer to the ripe berries because
> I, and a lot of folks I 
> know, would be dead.  Perhaps the vegetative parts
> are poisonous; I don't 
> know.  People who make pie out of the berries all
> say to have a minimum (or 
> none) of green berries in it.  I know someone who
> claims to have fed a 
> rabbit a diet of green nightshade berries and it
> died.  We who make pie from 
> these berries sometimes jokingly refer to it as
> "Poison Pie."  Anyway, 
> Solanum nigrum, aka Garden Huckleberry has white
> flowers with a yellow 
> center.
>     Ever wonder what the Colorado Potato Beetle ate
> before potatoes were 
> grown in America?  It was a close relative of  the
> potato, Solanum 
> rostratum, aka Prickly Nightshade.  It grows on the
> prairies from South 
> Dakota to Texas and Mexico and also in waste places
> from Ontario to New 
> Hampshire and points South.
> Jim Fruth
> Brambleberry Farm
> Pequot Lakes, MN  56472
> For jams, jellies & syrups:
> www.bberryfarm.com
> (218)568-8483 [Store]
> (218)831-7018 [My Cell]
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