Name that plant

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Details:
  • Date Photo Taken

    08 / 19 / 2012

  • Season Photo Was Taken

    Summer

  • City

    Toronto

  • State

    Canada

  • Posted by

    edyb

Notes:

I found this plant among my tomatoes. It looks like a weed of some kind but I’ve never come across one with so many distinct little bluish black round berries. I wonder if they are edible or poisonous, and if it is something worth cultivating. The flowers are really small white with yellow centers and really not that interesting. If not for the berries, it would never have caught my attention.

Comments

  • Bruce Williams Unregistered says:

    Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants are all common nightshades

    Nightshade vegetables belong to the family of plants with the Latin name Solanaceae

    I have these little black berries everywhere amongst in my potato garden

    October 17th, 2020 at 8:15am

  • Teri Unregistered says:

    My family has also eaten these berries for generations – the ripe ones that is. We use them in pies… that is sort of a tradition for special occasions. I freeze them. Never knew what they were called though.

    October 11th, 2020 at 1:05am

  • Prav Unregistered says:

    They are called sunberry or wonderberry and are native to USA as well. They are mildly sweet with fruity aroma. I have eaten them since childhood.

    October 7th, 2020 at 2:17pm

  • Gareth Page Unregistered says:

    The related species in my garden is black nightshade, Solanum nigrum; if you live in Toronto it’s most likely the species you have is glossy nightshade, Solanum americanum.
    There is debate about the toxicity, which depends on the ripeness of the berries

    September 18th, 2020 at 9:41am

  • Hal Bond Unregistered says:

    They taste like tomatoes. I have been eating them for two weeks. The green ones are too bitter but the ripe ones are slightly sweet.

    September 16th, 2020 at 5:57pm

  • Lisa Hudson Unregistered says:

    Is this the poke salad weed. I read that they are all over lately. the berries are said to be toxic to humans but birds like them. I have this and just got rid of mine. I read that they will take over everything if left and that they come back year after year, root growing deep.

    September 15th, 2020 at 5:47pm

  • vanessa fowler Unregistered says:

    I found this article and like everybody above, this plant just appeared in my garden, near the tomatoes and in pots all over the terrace. No idea why and how it is everywhere. I am a little cautious about eating the berrier, even though others’ have. What a crazy plant. I have noticed a little dunnock in between the pots and maybe they are feeding on the seeds, therefore I will be inclined to leave it and hope that they do not pop up all over my garden next year.

    September 14th, 2020 at 3:30am

  • Michael H Unregistered says:

    I found this plant growing all over my garden in Long island. I let it grow because I confused it with my tomato. It overtook the whole garden before I realized it was useless. It won’t be welcome again

    September 12th, 2020 at 1:30pm

  • India Unregistered says:

    this is known as manathakkali in tamil. https://www.wildturmeric.net/manathakkali-keerai-health-benefits-medicinal-uses/

    September 2nd, 2020 at 9:09pm

  • Connie Lewis Unregistered says:

    These berries are a Volga German favorite of my family. Here is a good article about “Schwatzbeeren”.

    https://www.kitchenproject.com/german/recipes/Dumplings/Schwartzberra-Knebble/index.htm

    July 24th, 2020 at 8:20pm

  • Therese Unregistered says:

    My mom planted something exactly like these in our yard in Colorado, because my dad loved the berries. She even made a little jelly out of them. That was in the late sixties and early seventies. They are called Wonderberries. They grow on a little plant with tiny white buds.

    July 10th, 2020 at 2:12pm

  • Robert Metheney Unregistered says:

    I live in NC. My mother used to call these Kansas blackberries. she had them growing up in a German farming community in Kansas I have recently discovered these in my garden. They taste a little like tomatoes. I have painstakingly gathered these little guys and made cobbler with them. Very unusual and tasty. Warning there is a poison berry that looks a LITTLE like these. They are shiny black but these are a little more satin sheen.

    July 5th, 2020 at 2:36pm

  • Calvin Unregistered says:

    Hello, as children in South Africa I grew up barefoot and in the bush most of the time, we would often eat these berries by the hand full and none of my siblings,cousins or friends ever got ill. Goose berries, brambles(similar to raspberry), mulberries,num-nums (sticky white milky tangy or tart tasting red berries) loquat, tree tomato, fig,chestnuts and some species of mushrooms especially termiteometies are a few others we would find to eat outdoors.

    March 6th, 2020 at 12:08pm

  • Mommy Unregistered says:

    I found this plant growing next to my rose bushes in Houston, Texas. I am concerned my dog might eat it. What keeps them from growing back?

    December 31st, 2019 at 9:31am

  • Melinda Lennen. Unregistered says:

    I have some of these plants, and pick and eat some every fruit every day. They are soo yummy. It takes ages to get enough to make any condiments. I have about 400grams in the freezer, and picking every day. I live in Mareeba, Nth QLD. If anyone wants them to make jam, etc. You can have them with my love. I would like a small jar of what you make, please. Incidentally they also came up with my tomatoes.

    November 5th, 2019 at 2:07am

  • Denise Unregistered says:

    They look like the “blackberries” (not at all like t1e blackberries at the store) I grew up eating. Many people with my heritage call them “Schwartzbeeren” (see https://kitchenproject.com/german/recipes/Dumplings/Schwartzberra-Knebble/index.htm). They are from the nightshade family (not Wonderberries) and like their cousin the tomato, do not eat them green, just wait until they ripen to a dark black, shiny plump color and they will practically fall off the plant into your hand! They are full of seeds and will turn green if frozen so best used fresh. They are not a sweet berry and can be used anywhere tart cherries with added sugar are used (think pies, jam/jelly, or what we call Kuga – some people call it Kuchen). Birds and rabbits are mostly how the seeds are spread. We are moving and I’m desperately trying to save some in a bucket from our old house just to get some seeds to plant in our new house. They are a heritage, non-GMO plant as far as I can tell, so worth saving. We’ve never had a rush from the leaves nor have we eaten the leaves. Enjoy if you have them and if you have extra, offer the seeds on nearly any Volga German website and people will generally ask for them since the only way to get them current is from someone who got them from their parent/ grandparent/ great-grandparent.

    September 14th, 2019 at 12:58am

  • Lisa Russell Unregistered says:

    Yes, I am the latest addition to the list of unwitting, but successful growers of this plant. I pulled the plant out today as it seemed that the birds were eating it, I was afraid that it could be hazardous. Clearly it is a good season for this plant, which starts off appearing as a weak, buff leaved pepper/ chilli plant. Grateful to find out what it was, but not chancing eating it. Thanks all and we shall await next year’s mystery plant.

    September 11th, 2019 at 11:24am

  • Melissa R Baier Unregistered says:

    Those are what the Volga Germans call a schwartzbeeren (black berry). They are edible and they make the most wonderful pies and pastries!!!

    August 24th, 2019 at 7:19pm

  • Rita Drobny Unregistered says:

    I grew up in Nebraska eating jam made from these berries. We called them ‘dewberries’. After I married I was excited to find some plants on our property and made a batch of jam. When my father-in-law- found out, he was SO upset, saying that I was poisoning them!

    August 15th, 2019 at 12:38pm

  • Sharanya Eshwaran Unregistered says:

    I’m not sure the English name or scientific name. In South India it’s called “Sukkuti”. The fruits are edible and leaves can be used for curry. It’s a medicinal plant, the curry is used to cure throat infection. It’s good for bronchitis patients.

    August 6th, 2019 at 12:46am

  • Rakesh Ranjan Unregistered says:

    They are totally edible , i always eat those small black berries Whenever I visit my hometown ….they are like small tomatoes…and very tasty

    May 19th, 2019 at 7:20am

  • Lisa Unregistered says:

    I live in Florida and have this plant growing wild in my yard. I had never seen it before, so thank you for helping me identify it.

    April 7th, 2019 at 9:28am

  • Boots Unregistered says:

    Not sure if anyone still looks here, but for anyone who does the plant pictured is Blackberry Nightshade. It is edible – berries and leaves – though there is some indication the green berries are poisonous. The black berries taste like tiny, herbaceous tomatoes with a slight hint of sweetness. The leaves are quite bitter but taste pretty good cooked. It grows just about everywhere in Australia and I leave it in my garden because here in Victoria where I live the native bees LOVE it. It can be quite lovely too if you give it even the slightest bit of care. Gets plump and happy with lots of healthy green foliage. For those who consider it a weed I encourage you to rethink your relationship with it and perhaps leave it there for the bees and other pollinators. Or eat it yourself.

    February 20th, 2019 at 2:30am

  • Tammy Unregistered says:

    I grew up (in Cleveland,Oh) & whenever we’d come across anything with berries that weren’t grapes, blackberries or strawberries, my mom would say that they were poisonous. So when I found it over my yard & even growing in cracks beside my house where there’s no greenery, I assumed they were poisonous. It wasn’t until I looked it up & saw this post that I find out they’re not poisonous (to humans). But I have 2 dogs & 1 eats plants. Hence why despite the 90¡+ temps today, I’ll be digging up each & every one. But I think I’ll taste one too.

    September 2nd, 2018 at 10:47am

  • Rich Unregistered says:

    Growing tomatoes and chilli and sweet peppers. Gloucester UK These are similar to the chilli until they start to fruit. Regrettable , but I binned them because they may get into the compost and then who knows what I have in the greenhouse

    August 27th, 2018 at 11:15am

  • Ann Unregistered says:

    I just found these next to where Tomatoes were growing last year in Nebraska …when I Googled it it said huckleberries but now I found this page and so I’m still not knowing what I should do with them …they’re beautiful berries but don’t think I will be making any jelly….

    August 26th, 2018 at 4:39pm

  • Jane Unregistered says:

    Does this plant cause an itchy rash? I pulled up mine after reading about it on this website. Bagged it and threw in the trash. The only thing I have done differently recently is handle this plant without washing my hands after. Now I have a rash on that hand, my face and neck and other arm. It is taking its time going away.

    August 22nd, 2018 at 11:38pm

  • christina walford Unregistered says:

    I have this in my green house it is taking over at least 2 mtrs high and is also in with the tomatoes have never seen any around our area I live in the Midland England glad to find out what it is thanks for the photos

    August 18th, 2018 at 3:38pm

  • NM Unregistered says:

    This plant is called the manathakkali plant in India. I have grown up eating this and is considered very healthy both fruit and leaves.you can Google this and see if interested. It is considered medicinal for many small ailme nts. It was a surprise that this grows so abundantly here I’m the US. Found it in garden as well.

    August 7th, 2018 at 9:08pm

  • L L Unregistered says:

    I found a bush in the kids school garden, it was so pretty. I pulled it out today to be safe replanted at home in a pot. IÕve been looking for information on this plant. Wish me luck. Thanks for sharing all these comments. So ultimately NOT poisonous- Is that the last word?

    February 10th, 2018 at 7:36pm

  • Jo Unregistered says:

    I have been wondering what this plant is for a while now! I originally thought it was chokeberry but the leaves didn’t match. I bought this at a fundraiser plant sale and lost the name tag! I’ve picked them over the summer and strained them (so many seeds) and made a juice which I added to some orange juice. I even joked that it might be a “super” berry! Well, no has become sick or died (phew!), but I have noticed piles of poop around my house from raccoons with those berries in them. They look just like they came off the tree! Will they be harmful to them? Oh, I’m in the Toronto area.

    September 29th, 2017 at 2:28pm

  • Baz Unregistered says:

    I let one of these plants grow in my herb garden. it got huge and started putting off all these berries. I ate the greens (tasted good, a little like kale but slightly tart) and the berries, both green and ripe. Still alive, did not get sick or experience any symptoms. Still trying to find the name for it. Maybe these are Wonderberries?

    August 11th, 2017 at 7:03pm

  • Gloria Unregistered says:

    Thanks for the info everyone. Here in San Clemente, CA it also just popped up. Interesting reading, my new quandary, now that I know what it is, is do I yank it out or leave it for the birds.

    July 11th, 2017 at 10:32pm

  • Marie Unregistered says:

    I’ve been trying to figure out the name of these berries for a while now. I grew up eating them during the 70s-80s. They always grew around our garden. We would make them into jam – very yummy. We never ate the green berries, which is probably why I’m still alive and kicking. 🙂

    June 1st, 2017 at 4:57pm

  • Helen Unregistered says:

    I just found it around the side of the house (paved area, not garden) like others, never seen before. Im from Adelaide South Australia! Weeds are weeds anywhere in the world!

    May 6th, 2017 at 3:00am

  • Marsha Unregistered says:

    I have this plant growing in my yard. The leaves are covered with Milkweed Assassin bugs.

    April 26th, 2017 at 5:09pm

  • Jess Titus Unregistered says:

    I mistakenly cultivated them, but I’m ‘forbidden’ from eating them because my mother thinks they are going to kill me.

    February 5th, 2017 at 5:07pm

  • Akashe Unregistered says:

    I just found these cute little berries under the goat water. They must be the Wonderberry. I had tried to grow them from seeds a couple years ago. Tasty little bursts of sweet and a smigen of tart! They are a wonderful surprise in your mouth.

    December 3rd, 2016 at 4:30pm

  • P Unregistered says:

    I’m one of 8 kids & we grew up eating these berries for years. We lived on a farm & collected so many of them at one stage that my mum made them into a pie for us! None of us ever got sick from eating them. I have them in my current garden & actually leave them there for the ladybugs which LOVE them! 🙂

    October 3rd, 2016 at 8:51am

  • Mel Nickless Unregistered says:

    Found this in our beds next to ourt tomatoes hoe did it get there ?

    October 2nd, 2016 at 9:59am

  • Margaret Unregistered says:

    We noticed this plant in our community garden. I, of course, ate a berry. As reported by Cyd, the berries are sweetish. It’s a funny family, the nightshades. Some are fine and some are a very bad idea. Like others have mentioned, we never had it in the garden before although we have many tomatoes. Nor have I just seen it around here in Albuquerque. Any thoughts on where it might suddenly have come from??? Thanks.

    September 24th, 2016 at 7:16pm

  • Nikki Unregistered says:

    Found this plant in my garden, seems to have grown from between paving slabs, no other plants grow in that area of the garden, I was very concerned, as I have never seen a plant like this before and have four dogs that like to eat plants, I would not eat anything that grows wild if I was unsure of what it was and so the plant has been removed. Hopefully it won’t grow back.

    September 11th, 2016 at 6:40am

  • Iris H. Unregistered says:

    Does this plant cause skin irritations if brushed up against- like poison ivy, oak, etc.?

    September 9th, 2016 at 8:56am

  • Jane McCarthy Unregistered says:

    I had an empty planter where tomatoes grew previously and this plant started to grow. At first I thought it was a tomato plant because of the similar little berries but when they ripened I was very confused! I haven’t eaten any and I don’t plan to, but it’s weird how this got in the planter and grew on its own.

    July 25th, 2016 at 5:44pm

  • Sharon Unregistered says:

    I also get that vine with the berries on it It over takes every thing what’s the best way to get rid of it so it don’t grow back

    July 19th, 2016 at 5:05am

  • Joyce Unregistered says:

    Found this plant in my garden. I grew up knowing it but have forgotten the name. The birds fill my garden and I love it. I used the berries to paint. I have never eaten it, but I know people who eat them. Beautiful plant.

    May 9th, 2016 at 7:03pm

  • jane gullan Unregistered says:

    found exactly the same plant in my greenhouse next to my tomatoes,how did it get there? never had this mystery plant before.

    September 7th, 2015 at 11:44am

  • Cyd Peace Unregistered says:

    Still alive!

    August 22nd, 2015 at 12:43am

  • Joan Unregistered says:

    Thanks — good looking berries, but I’ll toss rather than eat.

    August 21st, 2015 at 5:01pm

  • Cyd Peace Unregistered says:

    Just like the opening – I found these plants today behind my tomatoes. Thanks for all the info. I’ve eaten several. The flavor is sweet but definitely different. Even a tad spicy. I’d like to try putting them in a recipe of some kind. See you in the morning (maybe) 🙂

    August 21st, 2015 at 2:58am

  • MaryG Unregistered says:

    There is a commercially available berry in this family called Sunberry or Wonderberry. Luther (?) Burbank was the discoverer/cultivator, and the Latin name I believe includes Burbankii as part of the name. They are very elible, though so small that I’m not sure they are worth cultivating. I agree with Lee that the birds love them. They are a good distraction from other plants and a way to get the birds near the tomatos to spot the occasional hornworm. These readily reseed, so if you are trying to get rid of them, plan to pull up seedlings for a year or two to come.

    July 7th, 2015 at 7:30am

  • Lee Phillips Unregistered says:

    I recommended if its near your tomatoes to move it because its a great plant for birds they really do love the berries on the plant. If you like birds its a great feeder plant and they will visit just for those berries. It can make cats and dogs sick if ingested and we can handle the berries a bit better but still can harm us too. I keep mine because the birds as my cat is indoors but its not a highly toxic form of nightshade.

    May 21st, 2015 at 5:06pm

  • GDI Unregistered says:

    I recently found this in my backyard in Houston, Texas. I have never seen it before, a bird must have eaten a berry and out it eventually comes and the seeds came alive!

    October 13th, 2014 at 7:22pm

  • Arthur Haines Unregistered says:

    As has been stated, this is a species of Solanum in the “black nightshade complex”. It is likely Solanum ptycanthum, but hard to know for sure without examining the actual plant. The berries are not poisonous, they are edible and species in the group are eaten around the world (I’ve personally eaten them many times and in quantity). The problem is that the toxicity (i.e., danger) of wild plants is highly exaggerated and often the reports are just flat out incorrect. The young leaves of this plant are also edible (but because this is a “nightshade”, authors assume it to be poisonous). Best wishes.

    July 11th, 2013 at 11:23am

  • Pete Moss Unregistered says:

    edyb, just thought your comment was a bit ambiguous in regards to the toxicity of solanine. Just to clarify: solanine can cause more than stomach upsets – it’s potentially fatal. While i’m not personally acquainted with Solanum ptychanthum, i am experienced with other nightshade species which contain variable levels of solanine in: ripe berries, unripe berries and leaves. And solanine in nightshades can reach toxic levels and there have been cases of fatal poisoning from nightshades. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanine

    June 27th, 2013 at 11:53pm

  • edyb Registered says:

    Thanks. Did a bit more research. Likely to be “solanum ptychanthum” or Eastern Black Nightshade, also known as West Indian Nightshade. The ripe berries are NOT poisonous, but contain solanine which if taken in too high doses can upset the stomach. NOT to be confused with “atropa belladonna” which is Deadly Nightshade. They do look different. The flowers and the arrangement of berries look different, and that plant is very poisonous. I had 3 of the ripe dark purple/black berries yesterday and they tasted ok. I am still alive and feel fine. However I did my research and consulted many resources to correctly identify the plant, including your website which is excellent! Here is another good summary: http://foragersharvest.com/black-nightshade-2/

    August 25th, 2012 at 2:04pm

  • Walter Reeves The Georgia Gardener says:

    I believe it’s black nightshade see http://www.walterreeves.com/gardening-q-and-a/black-nightshade-poisonous/

    August 20th, 2012 at 9:13am

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