Hyoscyamus niger (Black Henbane) - photos and description






Stem and leaves with long hairs and glandular hairs.

Stem and leaves with long hairs and glandular hairs.

Inflorescence elongates into leafy, one-sided spikes (this plant looks like a bird!).

General: Robust biennial plants with stout stems. Foliage densely covered with glandular hairs making it sticky to touch. Plants have a sour smell (Budd's Flora describes this plant as "evil smelling"!). All parts of the plant are poisonous, but in some cultures has ritual and recreational use due to its strong hallucinogenic properties. Has been designated as a noxious weed in Saskatchewan.

Flowers: Flowers are urn-shaped, pale yellow with purple veins and a purple throat. The flowers grow in a one-sided inflorescence. We measured a flower at 3 cm diameter by 2 cm long.

Leaves:  Leaves are alternate, oblanceolate, irregularly toothed. The foliage is dark green with prominent white veining. Upper leaves are clasping, lower leaves have petioles. We measured an upper stem leaf at 11 cm long by 7 cm wide.

Height: Budd's Flora lists the height to 100 cm, we measured plants to 55 cm tall.

Habitat: Waste ground, roadsides, gardens.

Abundance: Uncommon.

Origin: Introduced.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 16th, waste ground beside recreation area near Regina, SK, and July 16th, waste ground in our home city of Regina, SK.