Bittersweet Nightshade Climbing a Chain Link Fence in album plants

In Albums:plants

Bittersweet nightshade, showing green, red, and orange berries, and dark green heart-shaped leaves, climbing a chain link fence, with dead grass in the background.

Jul 4th, 2004, by Alex Zorach

This photo shows Bittersweet nightshade, Solanum dulcamara, climbing a chain link fence. This plant is native to Europe and Asia, but has become naturalized in North America as well, where it is considered a problem species. The plant climbs by twining itself around stems or, in this case, a metal fence. The leaves have a dark color and sometimes (evident in this picture) a very slight purplish tinge. The heart-shaped leaves sometimes have two or rarely more lobes at the base; these are not evident in this photo.

The fruit of bittersweet nightshade is a source of poisoning in children, as the berries look very appetizing, yet contains the toxic compound Solanine, as well as possibly other poisons. The fruit may be beautiful, but are best left alone.