or a much more appropriate name “deadly nightshade”!  Much to my dismay, this little villain has taken root in my garden!  I saw these plants coming up in random spots in the garden and at first I thought it was a volunteer tomatillo – kinda looked a bit like them.  But then as they continued to grow I didnt’ really think that’s what it was, I didn’t really know what it was.  Then I saw these little berries form in clusters, hmmmmm?…… I am always a bit cautious when I see a plant with berries that I don’t know, always makes me think of poisonous berries? 

Well, my intuition was correct.  I had been meaning to take a picture and bring to my garden guru at work but kept forgetting so on Saturday as I was walking out to my car to head to work, I remembered I needed to ask Kimberely about the plant, so I ripped off a stem.

The look on Kimberely’s face when I walked in to her office – panic, horror, mouth agape.  Before I could even get the words out of my mouth “what is this” as I’m holding the deadly little bugger in my hands, she says (in her oh so eloquent english accent) that is “deadly nightshade”! 

I wanted to drop it and scrub the first couple layers of skin off of my hands, but I sat and listened to what she had to say.  So I was right to link it to a tomatillo, because they are in the nightshade family as well (as are potatoes and tomatoes – both which were in the same bed as this guy – probably cross pollinating each other).  But unlike those nightshade species that you can eat, this guy, not so much.  Wikipedia stated 2 berries (and these are little berries, about the size of a small blueberry) will KILL a child – yes, that’s right folks, KILL!!!!! 

I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.  My kids, my animals, the other animals in the area, all potentially in danger due to this death trap!  All I wanted to do was walk out the door, get in my truck and head back home to eradicate these little suckers.  But I had to work 😦  So of course I had to do a quick read on wikipedia myself, which made me feel more sick. 

But then I wondered about homeopathy – it’s used in small amounts?  How can that be?  So I felt a bit more calm, as well, as my kids are pretty good – they only eat what they know from the garden.

Kimberely had told me to go wash my hands thoroughly – you just don’t want to take a chance.  I did read that the roots are the most toxic, so while I was eradicating them at home I wore gloves and made sure to not come in contact with the roots.  I’m sure I was being overly cautious BUT not taking any chances.

I’m not sure how it made it into our garden but I will definitely be on the lookout for this “grim reaper”.