Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘nightshade

False nightshade, truly

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Chamaesaracha sordida 0606A

Making its debut here today is a smallish flower in the genus Chamaesaracha, whose members are known as false nightshade even though they are indeed in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. From what I can tell, this seems to be the species C. sordida.

I took this photograph at the Doeskin Ranch section of the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Burnet County on April 8. For the next week you’ll be seeing pictures from my visit there.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 22, 2016 at 5:11 AM

Fruits in addition to flowers

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Silverleaf Nightshade Fruit 1323

It wasn’t only flowers I saw along Great Northern Blvd. on December 23 of last year, but also fruits, notably some from a silverleaf nightshade, Solanum elaeagnifolium. Clouds kept me from catching the Christmas full moon soon afterward, but I have this orb to show for that week.

If you’re reminded of a yellow cherry tomato, it’s because tomatoes are in the same botanical family as nightshades. Many plants in the nightshade family are poisonous, so early European colonists in the Americas originally refused to eat tomatoes. The fear of tomatoes continued in the colonies and back in Europe for a long time afterward. That set me to wondering whether anyone is still afraid of tomatoes.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 9, 2016 at 5:03 AM

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