Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar

 

#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

 Solanum dulcamara, Bittersweet Nightshade

Solanum dulcamara, Bittersweet Nightshade

 Solanum dulcamara, Bittersweet Nightshade

Solanum dulcamara, Bittersweet Nightshade

This morning, after my walk, crossing my field, I find near one of our stone walls this bright berry, and I want to identify it so I look it up: bittersweet nightshade is (obviously!) an invasive vine, growing wild all over this wall where my daughter planted the sunflowers. It's toxic, I discover, (but not deadly to humans or animals), and should be removed with gloves. Except I'm going to leave it and let it grow as it wants - pretty nice food for the birds who can safely eat it.

Bittersweet is a semi-woody herbaceous perennial vine, which scrambles over other plants, capable of reaching a height of 4 m where suitable support is available, but more often 1–2 m high. The leaves are 4–12 cm long, roughly arrowhead-shaped, and often lobed at the base. The flowers are in loose clusters of 3–20, 1–1.5 cm across, star-shaped, with five purple petals and yellow stamens and style pointing forward. The fruit is an ovoid red berry about 1 cm long, soft and juicy, with the aspect and odor of a tiny tomato, and edible for some birds, which disperse the seeds widely. However, the berry is poisonous to humans and livestock, and the berry’s attractive and familiar look make it dangerous for children.
— Wikipedia
Toxicity: All parts of the plant are toxic. Humans, livestock and wildlife may be affected by toxins in this species. It causes generally non-fatal poisoning including gastrointestinitis, dermatitis and phytophotosensitivity.
— https://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/bittersweet-nightshade.pdf

All photos and text by Kelly DuMar 2017 unless otherwise attributed