Black nightshade is a common herb or short-lived perennial shrub, found in many wooded areas, as well as disturbed habitats. It reaches a height of 30 to 120 cm (12 to 47 in), leaves ovate to heart-shaped, with wavy or large-toothed edges. The flowers have petals greenish to whitish, recurved when aged and surround prominent bright yellow anthers. The berry is 6 to 8 mm, dull black or purple-black.
Sometimes S. nigrum is confused for the more toxic deadly nightshade, Atropa belladonna, in a different Solanaceae genus altogether. A comparison of the fruit shows that the black nightshade berries grow in bunches, the deadly nightshade berries grow individually.
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