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Solanum dulcamara - L.

Common Name Bittersweet. Bittersweet Nightshade, Climbing nightshade, Bittersweet, Deadly Nightshade, Poisonous
Family Solanaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards All parts of the plant, including the fruit, are poisonous[4, 7, 10, 13, 19], though only mildly so[21, 65]. Adverse effects include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and dilated pupils. The stem contains only low concentrates of alkaloids and therefore toxicity. Overdose may cause paralysis of the central nervous system, slow heart and respiration, low temperature, vertigo, delirium, convulsions and death [301].
Habitats Hedgerows and woody areas, avoiding acid soils[17]. Also found on moist banks by the edges of swamps[232].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east from Norway to N. Africa and temperate Asia.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Solanum dulcamara Bittersweet. Bittersweet Nightshade, Climbing nightshade, Bittersweet, Deadly Nightshade, Poisonous


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Solanum dulcamara Bittersweet. Bittersweet Nightshade, Climbing nightshade, Bittersweet, Deadly Nightshade, Poisonous
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Summary

Bloom Color: Blue, Lavender, Red. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Solanum dulcamara is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2.5 m (8ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; Hedgerow;

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Alterative;  Anodyne;  Cancer;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Emetic;  Expectorant;  Hepatic;  
Homeopathy;  Narcotic;  Purgative.

Bittersweet is a poisonous plant that has a long history of use in the treatment of skin diseases, warts, tumours, felons etc[238]. It should be used with caution and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, this is a poisonous plant that, in excess, paralyzes the central nervous system, slows the heart and respiration, and lowers temperature, causing vertigo, delirium, convulsions and death[21, 238]. See also the notes above on toxicity. All parts of the plant are alterative, anodyne, depurative, mildly diuretic, emetic, expectorant, hepatic, mildly narcotic and purgative[4, 7, 9, 13, 21, 165]. The dried stem, usually collected in the autumn and preferably from the ends of branches 2 - 3 years old, is the part that is most valued medicinally, though the leaves are also used[4]. The plant is chiefly used as an alterative when taken internally in the treatment of a range of skin diseases, it is also used in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, bronchial congestion, heart ailments, ulcerative colitis and jaundice[4, 218, 238]. Externally, the plant is used to treat skin eruptions, ulcers, rheumatism and cellulite[238]. Two to three year old stems are harvested in the spring, or after the leaves have fallen in the autumn, and dried for later use[238]. The fruits are marinated in vinegar and applied to cancerous sores and other swellings[218]. A decoction of the root is used in the treatment of cancer and swellings[218]. The root is harvested in the autumn and dried for later use[238]. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh, green, still pliant stems and leaves, harvested as the plant begins to flower[232]. This is used in treating a variety of complaints including backaches, cough, diarrhoea, eye inflammations and joint pains[232]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Solanum dulcamara for eczema, furuncles (boils), acne, warts (see [302] for critics of commission E).

Other Uses

None known

Cultivation details

An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils[1, 202]. Prefers a damp shady position and a neutral to alkaline soil[10, 238]. Succeeds in full sun to light shade[202]. If being grown for its medicinal uses, the plant is best placed in a dry and exposed position[4]. Hardy to at least -15°c[202]. Special Features:Attractive foliage, Not North American native, Invasive, Naturalizing, All or parts of this plant are poisonous.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. If you have sufficient seed then it can be sown outdoors in situ in the spring. Division in spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Solanum aethiopicumMock Tomato, Ethiopian nightshade20
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Solanum americanumAmerican Nightshade, American black nightshade10
Solanum andigenumAndigena20
Solanum aviculareKangaroo Apple, New Zealand nightshade22
Solanum boreale 10
Solanum boyacense 10
Solanum cari 10
Solanum carolinenseHorse Nettle, Carolina horsenettle02
Solanum chauchaChaucha10
Solanum curtilobumRucki20
Solanum fendleriWild Potato, Fendler's horsenettle, Texan horsenettle32
Solanum jamesiiColorado Wild Potato, Wild potato20
Solanum juzepczukiiRucki20
Solanum kurzii 10
Solanum laciniatumKangaroo Apple22
Solanum linearifoliumMountain Kangaroo Apple20
Solanum liximitante 10
Solanum luteum 10
Solanum lycopersicumTomato, Garden Tomato53
Solanum lyratum 12
Solanum maglia 20
Solanum melongenaAubergine, Eggplant32
Solanum muricatumPepino40
Solanum nigrumBlack Nightshade, Common Nightshade, Poisonberry, Black Nightshade22
Solanum paniculatumJurubeba, Nightshade04
Solanum phurejaPhureja, Nightshade30
Solanum piliferum 20
Solanum pimpinellifoliumCurrant Tomato42
12

 

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Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Barry   Fri Aug 13 03:09:59 2004

for study information only, i wonder if there has been any study in the distillation of bittersweet nightshade berries? if so, please provide me with a link or other reference, thank you

   Tue Aug 26 2008

I have seen a report on TV about the cancer cure in a girl 14yrs old besides the doctors treatment. This link is very helpful to sent to a girlfriend of mine, her mother has lymphnodes and are malignant.

jumpinjivinjoe   Mon Nov 3 2008

This plant has been used as a pesticide on small scale.

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