Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't Eat Me

My St. Vincent Lilac (Solanum Seaforthianum) has also made seed pods. They are pretty and look like tiny tomatoes when "ripened" (see insert at left.) It has many common names such as Brazilian Nightshade, potato creeper, Italian Jasmine... The Solanum family is very large, consisting of nearly 1500 species ranging from vegetables like the potato and aubergine, to ornamental shrubs and climbers, plus a number of weeds. Some, as their common name Nightshade suggests, are toxic and need careful handling. Everything of this vine is supposedly poisonous if ingested, including its seeds. I understand that humming birds like these seeds so they must be immune to its poison.


1 comment:

Chi said...

Thank you, thank you! I have been trying to identify this species of nightshade growing on my property in Costa Rica. I've scoured every site possible and hundreds of images. Then I saw your image - BINGO! Now I can do more research since I have the species. Thanks again! Mary B. Thorman