[NAFEX] Poisonous Garden Huckleberry?

Donna &/or Kieran holycow at cookeville.com
Thu May 31 00:01:52 EDT 2007

Jim and John,  Deadly nightshade has white berries.  I know this because a 
kind of nightshade was growing in my front yard in England in the late 70's 
and it was rather pretty so I did a little checking and found it wasn't the 
deadly stuff so I left it.  Walked out in the front yard one day to find my 
two year old with a berry headed for his mouth and squished berries all down 
the front of his shirt.  That was when I called the emergency room for a 
quick check of the difference, and all they would say was to bring a sample 
with me.  I said I'm not going 20 miles with 2 kids just to make sure I'm 
correct, just look at your danged pictures and tell me if the deadly one has 
red or white berries.  They wouldn't, so in the end I called a neighbor's 
retired professor and he verified my ID over the phone.  What I had I think 
was called bittersweet nighshade.
    There are a lot of plants in the family, but I think that most of us are 
going to find Black Nightshde in our gardens and these are said to be safe 
to eat when ripe and cooked.  Actually, when you come right down to it, the 
same is true for pokeberries, but I don't recommend them.  I met a city 
woman trying to do the homestead thing who'd picked a bunch of what she 
thought were blackberries.  She made a pie, cooked it, and had eaten about 
half when her husband got home from work and wanted her to show him the 
"blackberry bush" in the backyard.  HE knew pokeberries when he saw them, 
but when they called the emergency room, they just laughed and said don't 
worry about it.     Donna 

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