Solanum dulcamara L.
Bittersweet, Bittersweet Nightshade, Blue Bindweed, Climbing Nightshade, Bittersweet Nightshade
Bittersweet nightshade is a native of Eurasia, now widespread in North America, bordering on invasive in some areas.
Identification: Bittersweet nightshade is a perennial vine that rarely exceeds 10' (3 m) in length. The base of the vine is woody, but above-ground portions are not, and die back each year. Leaves are dark green, 2-5" (5-12 cm) long, oval or heart-shaped, with pointed tips. Sometimes they have three lobes, a larger central one and two smaller side-pointing leaflets. The crushed leaves have a disagreeable odor. Flowers are purple, drooping, with five petals and a central bright yellow cone. They are about ½" (1.3 cm) in diameter. Often the petals are bent back. Fruits are oval, translucent berries in large clusters, deep red when mature, but yellow or orange while ripening. Each berry is ¹/₁₆-¼" (2-8 mm) in size.
Edibility: Poisonous Contains a substance that “in excess, paralyzes the central nervous system, slows the heart and respiration, and lowers temperature, causing vertigo, delirium, convulsions and death.” All parts of the plant should be avoided.
Solanum dulcamara on Missouriplants.com
Solanum dulcamara on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Solanum dulcamara on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database
Solanum dulcamara on the King County Washington Noxious Weeds list
Solanum dulcamara on Wikipedia
Solanum dulcamara on Montana Plant Life
Solanum dulcamara at Oregon State University
Solanum dulcamara on CalPhotos
Solanum dulcamara at Illinois Wildflowers
Solanum dulcamara at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (PDF)
Solanum dulcamara description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 24 Aug 2013.