8 responses to “Atropa belladonna”

  1. Beverley

    Atropa belladonna – Z7 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths

  2. scot

    I would say that a “beautiful lady” being highly deadly is actually a very common theme in classical mythology, and it derives from a source like that.

  3. Graham Rice

    There’s also a very attractive yellow-flowered and pale-fruited form which I grew for a few years in my English garden. It makes a very attractive plant for wilder areas and self seeds a little.
    Cases of poisoning in Britain, by the way, were often the result of children picking wild blackberries thoughtlessly adding deadly nightshade berries growing amongst the blackberries to their basket.

  4. The Covert Toxicologist

    Where can I find some Atropa Belladonna/Atropa Belladonna var. lutea?
    Please tell me as I really desire to aquire some and have been searching for years.
    If you can help then I thank you.

  5. Awesome Sauce

    Sweet plants, yo

  6. george

    Where can I find some and what other plants can it be used with. Also, how does the dilation of one’s pupils make them
    attractive?

  7. aljablan

    If you are weak in Italian I wouldnt presume to second guess bella donna which is not Icelandic or old Norse but italiano.
    I also have no idea if the Italian provenance of the name and the legend is authentic or not but the name is obviously and glaringly Italian.
    So what is your basis for doubting it?
    Nada I surmise.
    I am also thinking of Lucretia Borgia a famous poisoner and Romeo and Juliet who were given love potions or fake death potions by Friar Lawrence.
    So Italian Renaissance is teeming with use and abuse of herbal remedies and poisons therefore belladonna hits the mark and your comment misses it by a country mile.

  8. Daniel Mosquin

    I’m not disputing the origin of the name as being Italian.
    I am, though, wondering if the “beautiful woman” aspect of the name is indeed directly attributable to its use in pupil dilation in Medieval times or whether it was called “bella donna” long before that use (and why). Other references I’ve read suggest it was used for reddening one’s skin (cheeks) in Roman times.

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