Deadly Nightshade ( Atropa belladonna) is a branching perennial from the nightshade family Solanaceae. It is found worldwide. The plant can grow to a height of 2 m (6.6 ft) and contains ovate green leaves, bell-shaped greenish-purple flowers, and fleshy berries which are initially green but turn black as they age. Deadly nightshade’s roots, leaves and berries are extremely toxic---containing multiple tropane alkaloids, specifically atropine, hyocyamine and scopolamine. These chemicals act by competitively blocking the binding of acetylcholine to the central nervous system and parasympathetic postganglionic muscarinic receptors.
- loss of appetite
- dilated pupils
- excessive thirst
- rapid pulse and respiratory rate
- sudden death