/nuyt"shayd'/, n.
1. any of various plants of the genus Solanum, esp. the black nightshade or the bittersweet.
2. any of various other related plants, as the deadly nightshade.
[bef. 1000; ME; OE nihtscada. See NIGHT, SHADE]

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 any plant of the genus Solanum (family Solanaceae; q.v.), which has about 2,300 species, and certain other plants of the same family and other families. The species usually called nightshade in North America and England is Solanum dulcamara (see photograph—>), also called bittersweet and woody nightshade. Its foliage and egg-shaped red berries are poisonous, the active principle being solanine, which can cause convulsions and death if taken in large doses. The black nightshade (S. nigrum) is also generally considered poisonous, but its fully ripened fruit and foliage are cooked and eaten in some areas.

      The aptly named deadly nightshade, or dwale, is the belladonna (q.v.; Atropa belladonna), a tall, bushy herb of the same family and the source of several alkaloid drugs. enchanter's nightshade is a name applied to plants of the genus Circaea (family Onagraceae). Malabar nightshade refers to twining herbaceous vines of the genus Basella (family Basellaceae).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nightshade — Night shade , n. [AS. nichtscadu.] (Bot.) A common name of many species of the genus {Solanum}, given esp. to the {Solanum nigrum}, or black nightshade, a low, branching weed with small white flowers and black berries reputed to be poisonous.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nightshade — Pays d’origine Bretagne, France Genre(s) Deathcore Label(s) Rising Record Site Web Nightshade est un groupe Français de …   Wikipédia en Français

  • nightshade — [nīt′shād΄] n. [ME nichtheschode < OE nihtscada (see NIGHT & SHADE): ? with reference to narcotic qualities] 1. any of a large genus (Solanum) of chiefly tropical plants of the nightshade family, with five lobed leaves and flowers of various… …   English World dictionary

  • nightshade — (n.) O.E. nihtscada, lit. shade of night, perhaps in allusion to the poisonous berries. A common Germanic compound, Cf. Du. nachtschade, Ger. Nachtschatten …   Etymology dictionary

  • nightshade — noun /ˈnaɪtʃeɪd/ a) Any of the poisonous plants belonging to the genus Solanum, especially black nightshade or woody nightshade. b) Any plant of the wider Solanaceae family, including the nightshades as well as tomato, potato, eggplant, and… …   Wiktionary

  • nightshade — n. any of various poisonous plants, esp. of the genus Solanum, including S. nigrum (black nightshade) with black berries, and S. dulcamara (woody nightshade) with red berries. Phrases and idioms: deadly nightshade = BELLADONNA. Etymology: OE… …   Useful english dictionary

  • nightshade — /ˈnaɪtʃeɪd / (say nuychayd) noun 1. any of various plants of the genus Solanum, as black nightshade. 2. any of various other plants, as deadly nightshade. {Middle English; Old English nihtscada. See night, shade} …   Australian English dictionary

  • nightshade — noun Date: before 12th century 1. any of a genus (Solanum of the family Solanaceae, the nightshade family) of herbs, shrubs, and trees having alternate leaves, cymose flowers, and fruits that are berries and including some poisonous weeds,… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nightshade — Any of a number of plants of the genus Solanum (family Solanaceae) and of some other genera of the family Solanaceae. deadly n. SYN: belladonna. * * * night·shade nīt .shād n 1) any plant …   Medical dictionary

  • nightshade — noun used in the names of a group of poisonous or narcotic plants, e.g. deadly nightshade. Origin OE nihtscada, appar. from night + shade, prob. with ref. to dark and poisonous berries …   English new terms dictionary

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