* Flowers purple and sometimes white, with 5 swept-back petals. A yellow "beak" formed
by the flower's anthers protrudes
from the flower's center.
* Leaves oval-shaped and pointed, with 2 small ovate lobes at
* Fruits egg-shaped berries in drooping clusters; green and turning to
* Height: 2-8'.
* Flowers May - September.
* Habitat: Moist thickets.
* Range: Throughout the United States.
* Introduced from Europe.
* In 1785, botanist Manasseh Cutler called the nightshade Tivertwig and
American Mezerion. He wrote that "farmers apply it to swellings in
cows bags. Physicians of distinguished characters say, that the roots
answer as valuable a purpose, in venereal cases, as the mezereon." Mezereon
was once an important medicine, used to treat rheumatism, bronchitis,
and various other illnesses.
* Nightshades are in the tomato family.