Then there were reports of toxicity, which makes some sense if you were calling non-Black Nightshades Black Nightshades, essentially inducting non-edibles into the edible group. I would not eat Virginia creeper berries. Young leaves and stems are edible cooked.  In Transkei, rural people have a high incidence of esophageal cancer thought to be a result of using S.americanum as a food. The S. ptycanthum is an annual or short-lived perennial that will grow to a yard or so but usually is shorter. I’m in Florida and never knew there were two different shiny black berry nightshades. The difference between the species is minor and can be just a little coloring on the seedlings. I did try one and I am still alive. Eating them improperly cooked can make you sick. I’ve read no reports of the S. americanum having stone-like crumbs, which if true would be one more difference between the S. americanum and the S. ptycanthum. There are about 2,000 seeds to a gram. The plant most commonly referred to as “deadly nightshade,” is Atropa belladonna, which is a highly unpleasant and toxic hallucinogen. We call it Morel.  Some botanists have suggested that Solanum americanum may be conspecific with the European nightshade, S. One serious scientific report says they fed ripe S. ptycanthum berries to rats for 13 weeks with no detectable problems. If you have any info I would greatly appreciate it as I trust your opinion. My plant de trepidation was the S. americanum and I was careful, starting with a quarter of one berry at a time, then the next day half a berry et cetera, working my way up. Tasted just like a tomato. We ate from those plants too. My family eat the leave all the time. If you see non almond shaped leaves you know you don't have the atropa belladonna. Today, I was determined to find some internet information on the Tamil malathangalikkai which I find growing in many places in the US. I wish I knew an expert in my area that I could go out walking with to learn more about all the wonderful weeds out there. My little dog was chewing on one. Maybe this is what he ate. I believe I have the plant, I bit into the berry, super seedy, infact almost nothing but seeds, like a BB sized tomato packed with seeds(seeds similar to tomato seeds), but no “crumbs”. It is also called the Eastern Black Nightshade and the West Indian Nightshade. April 27, 2005. S. americanum: Green berries speckled with white, fruit in a cluster radiating from one point. This is later fried in oil and eaten with hot rice and oil. And, so glad to have found two South Indian responses to the article. Berries have 40 to 110 seeds. If purchased from farmers market it can be consumed in large amounts without any reaction. Green (unripe) fruits are toxic. The green fruit is prepared by soaking it in buttermilk, salt and powdered fenugreek seeds and then dried in the sun. I’ve been eating the berries of the black nightshade that grows everywhere here in Houston for years, ever since my Tamil wife pointed out they used it all the time. I’ve reached my destination. I am Southeast Asian and this has been one of our favorite vegetables. It competes with vegetable crops, lowers crop yield and quality, and in some cases can interfere with the harvest. S. nigrum or black nightshade is native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia, and South Africa. I have seen the nightshade with purple flowers growing down by our public beach in Traverse City, Michigan. As soon as I saw nightshade, I began to wonder is it poisonous even though I ate three of them. The Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops also says the cooked leaves and ripe fruit are edible. I am an anthropologist, and ethnobotanist, which is why I find this interesting. I don’t recommend the yellow berries either. Here in Florida it fruits nearly all year long. The seedlings do not have maroon under their leaves. But as time passed botanists had different opinions and the names were changed, or worse combined, such as, Though ubiquitous and plentiful I avoided the “Black Nightshade” for years because of their reported toxicity even when ripe. I am just wondering. The main differences I can tell are the purple flowers, red berries, bug holes in the leaves, and woodier stalk. However, when I squish them (the technical term) the flesh, while purple and seedy, squishes clear juice, not purple, so I cannot imagine dying cloth with it as one of the other posts suggest and the black (totally black) berries are very sour, not bitter really, just not anything anyone would want to eat intentionally. My email address is email@example.com. I’ve had a couple these berries at once without any effect. They are almost as big as a cherry tomato, and very prolific so if they were edible that would be awesome. In Kenya four varieties of it grow and three are highly sought after. Generally said no… there is one report of its juice being used to curdle milk. Thanks for the information best I’ve found so far on this plant. And am happy to report I’ve never got sick, but in truth I don’t eat all that many at any one time. Originally, black nightshade was called “petit (small) morel” to distinguish it from the more poisonous species, deadly nightshade, that is known as “great morel.” no one talks about the size of night shade! The flowers are about 1 cm diameter, white or occasionally light purple, with yellow stamens. So, for several years now Huckleberries keep popping up in my yard and garden. When ripe, they have pretty orange berries that actually taste like an orange. Because they resembled the Black Nightshades in the Old World they were considered variations of the Old World nightshades and were called … Black Nightshades … all of them. The fourth variety is considered too bitter to eat. I believed the green berries and leaves were poisonous but no the black berries. TIME OF YEAR: Summer in northern climes, year round in warmer areas. Blackberry Nightshade is an erect short lived perennial taprooted shrub. The Canadian government also reports the berries are edible. Asked August 30, 2020, 11:01 AM EDT. I’m curious why the one has such fuzzy, hairy stems. It is a concern in pastures or hay crops because all vegetative parts of the plant can poison livestock. . Today, I popped a developed tiny, shiny, black berry between my fingers and just tasted it, was not sour nor sweet, refreshing, I live in the Central Valley of California, they are housing ladybug larve on some, so they will stay. The young tender greens are edidble when cooked. I spent many a day walking pastures and pulling plants. Well now Im keeping this particular nightshade knowing its therapeutic uses. Livestock eating the plants/green berries in the field or dried in hay have been poisoned and or died. Thanks for any help you can give. I planted them in my garden thinking it was a young tomato plant. Solanum americanum is a ANNUAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). Next, in Africa they boil the leaves of the S. nigrum twice. They tell me the names of them in my native language but I could never find out what they are called here. OK, discussion of Black Nightshade as a wild edible should only begin with a WARNING and serious words of caution. He ended up with a headache. Although there isn’t a whole lot of mass or flavor to them. I remember feeling sad they were poison because the vines were always so loaded with berries and the birds seem to enjoy them. I can think of several blue or black berries that can make you quite sick or kill you. Please advise on my purpose because in future people around may follow suit – Thank you. I’ve tried to grow these from seeds and it did not germinate so well. The stem can be slightly hairy or on occasions hairless. I am a raw vegan, and I have eaten the Black nightshade Black ripe berries and raw leaves in salads and smoothies and juices and I live, I think it needs more investigating.. I’d like to send you a picture but it wont attach to this response box, is there an email address I can send it to? I eat the berries right off the plant when fully ripe. The berry contains 50 to 100 seeds. thank you! That juice also breaks down proteins. It is called Ganeke Hannu in Kannada. Everywhere says it is poisonous for humans. The green fruit I would not put in my mouth.  It can be confused with other black nightshade species in the Solanum nigrum complex.. Again, don’t try it. I’m from New Orleans and this plant is called nightshade, as well as Morel by my family. lol. Totally ripe berries are edible. U.S. Weed Information; Solanum americanum . We use them in specific gravies (not throw them into any gravy). These experts also say the berries of each are edible when totally ripe, either raw and cooked. It is commonly and mistakenly called ‘Deadly nightshade’ which is a completely different plant (although in the same solanum family) with the name Atropa bella-donna, deadly poisonous but extremely rare in NZ. When details like that are left out one sometimes wonders how comprehensive some “botanists” are. They look black but are actually intensely purple, and probably full of anti-oxidants. The first one came from a veterinarian report on the S. nigrum saying the toxicity varies plant to plant and season to season (though I think they were lumping them all collectively as Black Nightshade.) Edible strain of Black Nightshade? Once that are found in the wild are very bitter in comparison to ones that one can buy in farmers market. It actually is similar in size the bush that has the nigrum berries. In Europe the varieties are poisonous, but in Africa , Asia and Indonesia , the plant is used like a leafy green vegetable, such as kale or Swiss chard. Intake at your own risk because I don’t have any science degree however, just a person who appreciates wild edibles. Here’s my experience. I gushed a whole yellow “berry” tomato into my mouth and it tasted so awful, I spit it out & kept spitting & drooling for the next 2 minutes. Generally, they’re cooked in a very long simmer, I think. Some weeds I let grow in my garden closely resemble your pictures and descriptions of these two. americanum. But, to cover myself legally because there are a lot of fools with lawyers, I am not suggesting you eat any part of any wild nightshade. (Solanum Retroflexum (or at least that is the scientific name they gave them)), & when I grew the seeds they looked just like the weeds I have all over the property. The ripe shinny black berries are edible. Thank you. This is my first summer at my current Saginaw residence. The certain native range encompasses the tropics and subtropics of the Americas, Melanesia, New Guinea, and Australia.. I have succeeded most times in finding the information I am looking for about plants. It is very good in a soup! The stem is NOT very hairy. , Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Solanum_americanum&oldid=995109567, Plants used in traditional African medicine, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 December 2020, at 07:53. They uniformly say toxic. Purplish undersides is important to identifying the young plant. I didn’t swallow. Flowers are small, usually two to five grouped together in a small umbel-like arrangement (from one point) on a short stalk (peduncle) sticking out from the side of the stem rather than from the axil (where the leaf meets the stem.) I recognized the flower as nightshade and the leaves look a lot like Solanum americanum but… I understand that the South American’s put this into soup and I’m sure they wouldn’t sell it if it were poisonous but would love to know if you have ever heard of this. Hi.the black night shade cannot be propagated by the seeds its producing?i have seen some produce seeds.cannt the seeds be plucked and just planted? The berries are very different from deadly night shade and more like a tiny peas on a branch like cherry tomatoes. I have a plant I believe may be S. ptycanthum, as it has all the features described, except mine has variegated leaves. No doubt it is often confused as an adult with the S. americanum. Edible – The fully ripe black berries are edible and were eaten by the Hawaiians. Then I learned of a local grocery store manager from Cuba who ate the ripe berries whenever he found them. They need to be black/dark-purple/dark-blue, and not taste bad, right? I never forage these from the wild. The berries are speckled with white until fully ripe whereupon they turn black and shiny — shiny, that’s important. Interesting. Until I find a reputable published source that says it is edible and explains how, it is on my toxic avoid list. The leaves are alternate on the branch, and vary greatly in size, up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) long and 7 centimetres (2.8 in) broad, with a 4-centimetre (1.6 in) petiole and a coarsely wavy or toothed margin. I used to play around with the black seed pods when I was little and it would stain my hands and clothes. Mine has berries that all fall back to one stem, but the berries are dull. A third says the Indians, like the Cherokee and the Catabwa, ate the leaves of the S. ptycanthum and held them in high esteem. Then there were reports of toxicity, which makes some sense if you were calling non-Black Nightshades Black Nightshades, essentially inducting non-edibles into the edible group. Its berries are not edible as far as I know. Julia Morton who wrote a book on plants that poison people in Florida and other warm places was iffy. Mature leaves alternate, they are pale green, soft, thin, almost translucent, oval to oval-lance shaped. Most of these animals also have teeth that continue to grow in length for basically their entire lifetime; the origin of the saying that those who are old are ‘long in the tooth’. Yet another example of common names being confusing. I’m sure you’ll be surprised to know that Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) is an edible weed! Would you allow me to email you a pic? Modern Greeks call it “Styfno. And the green berries of the plants mentioned here are toxic. Leaves look similar to a lamsquarter. American Black Nightshade berries and leaves are traditionally eaten by Native Americans as well as modern cultures in Central American communities. wish I could post a picture for you to see. Or that most of them regurgitate the plant matter they consume, chew it again, and swallow it a second time. The green berries have no white flecks but I don’t remember reddish undersides when small. There are no short cuts. I even remeber my grandmother using the stain as a dye for a cloth. No doubt most Americans should eat more raw foods, but that doesn’t mean every food should be eaten raw! However, in central Spain, the great bustard (Otis tarda) may act as a seed disperser of European black nightshade (Solanum nigrum). Is it possible that a nightshade could be poisonous to many people and not to many others. Thanks Again. I nibbled & spit out a shiny black berry and found no crumbs, a mild tomato flavor, and 70-80 tiny 2mm, soft, green teardrop shaped seeds with black on the rounded ends. Leave should be cooked. I land on the edible side and I eat it. Maybe in the mountains of Central America someone boils the young plants. I have not found any ethnobotanical reference to it at all, read what if anything the native used it for. I have found that all of these plants, except spurge, are edible. Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops reports the cooked leaves and ripe berries are edible. Thanks for writing. Some foraging books will tell you it is very edible and the dangers overrated; some will say it will kill you, don’t eat it. Just trying to find out if they are edible or not. Is this typical or is it another plant? I’m pretty sure it’s what Tracy R is talking about isn’t a vine like what the bittersweet nightshade looks like around here. I have just been calling it a pepper leaf plant! I am pretty sure mine are edible. It’s not my department, so I can’t add specifics….but they are quite serious about it as a natural curative…. Green Solanum americanum berries are toxic. First I thank you for all the information the internet is amazing! 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