Plant ID forum: what plant is this?

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Name: Nancy Dantonio
New York City (Zone 6a)
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ndantonio2
Jul 25, 2014 9:58 AM CST
I am new here, and not sure if I am posting this in the correct spot, so please re-direct me if necessary.

This plant has appeared in my garden. I had ordered some seeds from a small DIY heirloom gardener, that were supposed to be Telekia Speciosa, and this is what came up. This is NOT Telekia Speciosa, and I don't know what it is, and whether or not it came from the seeds I planted, or if a bird deposited these seeds. The vendor has no clue.

It is very tall - at least 3 feet, vigorous grower, very small flower, and the fruits are hard and green for awhile, and then turn purple filled with many yellow seeds - not very attractive, and pushing out other plants, so I'd like to pull it up if it's not edible. Fruits are about the size of green peas, smaller than chick peas, in clusters.

Thanks.

I am in NYC.
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NancyD in NYC
[url=www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com]www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com[/url]
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Jul 25, 2014 10:00 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

It looks like a Black Nightshade to me.

Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum)

If that's what it is, this is definitely not edible!
Name: Nancy Dantonio
New York City (Zone 6a)
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ndantonio2
Jul 25, 2014 10:10 AM CST
Thank you so much, that definitely fits the description, and now I can pull it out without feeling badly! I suspected nightshade because the little fruits are definiitly tomato-like, and so is the flower (a little bit), and stalk (similar), but I have never seen black nightshade before.
NancyD in NYC
[url=www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com]www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com[/url]
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Jul 25, 2014 10:14 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Thumbs up
Name: Nancy Dantonio
New York City (Zone 6a)
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ndantonio2
Jul 25, 2014 2:01 PM CST
I actually did a little google search on this just to learn more before pulling it out and discovered that Black Nightshade is edible, and is sometimes confused with Deadly Nightshade, which is poisonous. Here is a link:

http://www.rootsimple.com/2012/07/black-nightshade-solanum-n...

....The issue of the edibility of black nightshade (Solanum nigrum) came up in the comments on our post on forager Pascal Baudar. We’ve blogged about the confusion between the edible Solanum nigrum and the toxic “deadly nightshade” or Atropa belladonna in a post last year. But Pascal left a link to an excellent article by author and forager Sam Thayer that puts in the nail in the coffin of the myth that Solanum nigrum is poisonous.
.......
Unripe (green) fruit of Solanum nigrum does contain solanine and should be avoided, but the ripe fruit is perfectly edible and quite delicious. People all around the world eat Solanum nigrum. In parts of the US Solanum nigrum are made into pies. I’ve snacked on Solanum nigrum berries from the backyard and I was lucky to be served Solanum nigrum prepared in a balsamic reduction sauce by Pascal’s partner Mia Wasilevich…and I’ve lived to tell the tale! .....

And here is a more extensive article explaining the myth and confusion:
http://foragersharvest.com/black-nightshade-2/

Wikipedia has conflicting information, which adds to the confusion. Never knew a volunteer weed could cause so much
NancyD in NYC
[url=www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com]www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com[/url]
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Jul 25, 2014 2:28 PM CST
I've heard for years that the toxicity of Solanum nigrum varies depending on the variety but how does one find out which varieties DO NOT have toxic tendencies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_nigrum
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Name: Leslieray Hurlburt
Sacramento California (Zone 9b)
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HamiltonSquare
Jul 25, 2014 5:16 PM CST
Incredible that there edible. I, however, won't be giving them a try! I've field tested all sorts of plants, berries, mushrooms, etc. but those have always been a no no! Were the berries sweet? I'll stick with tomatoes and eggplant! Hilarious!
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jul 25, 2014 5:22 PM CST
Solanum burbankii from Baker Creek is a similar plant with edible (when fully ripe) berries.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Nancy Dantonio
New York City (Zone 6a)
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ndantonio2
Jul 25, 2014 7:48 PM CST
After reading all that I decided to go try a few. I ate 4, and they were somewhat sweet. They are not going to ripen simultaneously so it would be hard to make jam or pie out of mine. I'll let you know if I"m still alive tomorrow.
NancyD in NYC
[url=www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com]www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com[/url]
Name: Myriam
Ghent, Belgium (Zone 8a)
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bonitin
Jul 26, 2014 8:47 AM CST
I have the Black Nightshade here and there popping up in containers and in the garden, I actually quite like the ripe black juicy berries and have always been eating them right of the plant without any ill effects whatsoever!
I'm sure you will be OK ndantonio2!
And Welcome! to ATP! Smiling
(edited for spelling..)
[Last edited by bonitin - Jul 26, 2014 10:00 AM (+)]
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Name: Nancy Dantonio
New York City (Zone 6a)
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ndantonio2
Jul 26, 2014 8:54 PM CST
So glad to hear that someone else has been eating them. I am still alive, with no stomach aches, and felt great all day. I was going to pull the plants out because they are not particularly attractive and my containers are crowded, but now I've decided to eat the berries first, as they ripen.
NancyD in NYC
[url=www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com]www.nycrooftopgardener.blogspot.com[/url]
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jul 26, 2014 9:10 PM CST
Interesting -- but I think I'm just going to continue to avoid all of the nightshade weeds! Sticking tongue out
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jul 26, 2014 9:22 PM CST
Just my two cents. If I purchase the seeds from a reliable source and grow the edible plant I would eat the berries. If the plant just popped up in my yard I would not be as daring. I am hoping that your plant has been identified correctly and is safe to eat.

I found a link with lots of information (although my brain stopped functioning and I will read the last half on another day): http://foragersharvest.com/black-nightshade-2/
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"

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