Nightshade Family Patterns

The Nightshade (Solanaceae) family is a very common family consisting of mostly herbs with fuzzy leaves and colorless juice that is also very rich in alkaloids. Their flowers are typically bisexual with usually 5 united sepals and 5 united petals, also usually consisting of 5 stamen and 2 chambered ovary. There are approximately 2,300 different species of plants in the Nightshade family including tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers. Some nightshade plants also have narcotic alkaloids; some of them are addictive like nicotine made from tobacco. Most of these plants that contain narcotic alkaloids are useful for numbing the sense of pain in your body. Another substance that can be extracted from many nightshade plants is scopolamine which can be used to treat seasickness or vertigo.

- Prepared by CJ