seeds of Atropa belladonna - Deadly Nightshade

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Atropa belladonna, Deadly Nightshade seeds

 

 

Atropa belladonna is a perennial plant that has other common names like deadly nightshade and belladonna. The plant belongs to Solanaceae family and is native to Europe, Western Asia and North Africa. Atropa belladonna grows to a height of 2m tall and does well in the normal weather condition. The plant can moderately withstand the harsh weather conditions. Atropa belladonna also has a long history to have been used for medicinal purposes.

 

Atropa belladonna is a flowering plant whose leaves are long and ovate. The plant often has branches and is fleshier. The flowers with a bell-shape are dull purple with faint scent and green tinges. The berries and fruits are green when not ripe and shiny black when fully ripe and mature. The berries have a sweet taste and are eaten by the animals that later disperse them. The berries and the foliage are however toxic to human consumption.

 

Atropa belladonna plant is hermaphrodite. The plant has both the female and male organs. For this reason, the plant fertilises itself through pollination enabled by the insects or wind. The plant has attractive flowers that produce nectar which invites the insects. The plant is then dispersed by the animals that feed on the fruit and drops them wherever they can.

 

Atropa belladonna plant was used by the Italian women as a cosmetic more so on the pupil to make them look seductive and attractive. This use is currently rare because of the diverse effects that the plant has. Atropa belladonna has also been used as herbal medicine for a long period to treat complains like muscle pain, menstruation problems and anti-inflammatory. Motion sickness and peptic ulcer are among the diseases treated by the plant’s remedy. The herbal medicine from the plant should be administered under a professional directive since it can result in severe side effects like blindness. For traditional medicinal purposes, Atropa belladonna plant was used by the witches to perform their various rituals.

The plant is very poisonous and for this reason, the ancient Romans used to make poisonous arrows from the plant. It was more of a weapon and other people used its poison for several varied reasons. The root of the plant is the most poisonous part and even contact with its single leaf can cause fatal issues. The Romans believed that a girl would be more attractive upon making an offering to the plant. 

 

Growing from seeds:

These seeds need a stratification first, meaning that they have to be treated with cold for several weeks. This can easily be done by planting them directly into your garden at autumn and then they'll start to germinate in spring.

Second option is just simulating the winter season by putting seeds, together with some soil, into the fridge for about 4-6 weeks.


Third option is a treatment with GA3 (Gibberellic acid) for about 6 hours. Then they can be planted directly. Instructions for GA3 usage can be found in the item description of this phytohormone right here in my store.

After stratification just sow about 5mm deep in well drained soil

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