Solanum nigrum

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Description:
Solanum nigrum (European Black Nightshade or locally just "black nightshade", Duscle, Garden Nightshade, Hound's Berry, Petty Morel, Wonder Berry, Small-fruited black nightshade or popolo) is a species in the Solanum genus, native to Eurasia and introduced in the Americas, Australasia and South Africa.

Description

Black nightshade is a fairly common herb or short-lived perennial shrub, found in many wooded areas, as well as disturbed habitats. It has a height of 30–120 cm (12-48"), leaves 4-7.5 cm (1 1/2-3") long) and 2–5 cm wide (1-2 1/2"); ovate to heart-shaped, with wavy or large-toothed edges; both surfaces hairy or hairless; petiole 1–3 cm (1/2-1") long with a winged upper portion. The flowers have petals greenish to whitish, recurved when aged and surround prominent bright yellow anthers. The berry is mostly 6–8 mm (1/4-3/4") diam., dull black or purple-black. In India, another strain is found with berries that turn red when ripe.

Sometimes Solanum nigrum is confused for deadly nightshade, a different Solanaceae species altogether.



Culinary usage

In India, the berries are casually grown and eaten; but not cultivated for commercial use. The berries are referred to as "fragrant tomato," or மணத்தக்காளி - manathakkaali in Tamil, 'ganike gida' in Kannada, Kamanchi in Sanskrit and Telugu, and makoi in Hindi. Although not very...
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