Woody nightshade

Woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) in the car park, heavy with berries, climbing through the roses.

It is a species of vine belonging to the potato family; it grows up through other plants on a strong woody stem. Woody nightshade doesn’t have tendrils with which to hold on, nor does it twist or wind itself around the supporting plants; it just sprawls and the foliage it is climbing through holds it up.

woody nightshade berries and flowers

Growing through the right kind of habitat, it can climb several metres; in the car park, it is as high as the roses it is growing through. Without support it is a low growing woody shrub.

Every part of it is poisonous to humans but birds can eat the bright red, sweet and sticky berries without harm. Its toxins have been used in herbal medicines for almost 2,000 years, for the external treatment off skin diseases.

More of the park’s poisons:

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