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Old 07-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #1
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Default Can Nightshade cross pollinate with a sunberry?

And thus produce a poisonous berry from second year seedlings? I just started to think about this as I was eating the sunberries from my garden which I did not plant this year.
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Old 07-28-2010, 08:00 AM   #2
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I thought it was the leaves that were poisonous to begin with, in regards to nightshade.

anyway, if the berries are that high in alkaloyds, there would not be edible to begin with.

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Old 07-28-2010, 02:32 PM   #3
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I was wondering if I had to bag the flowers on them to get next year's to grow true to type,
they look almost the same, only the flowers in the middle are not the same color,
I decided to alternate what year to grow them just to be sure.
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #4
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Originally posted by darwinslair:
I thought it was the leaves that were poisonous to begin with, in regards to nightshade.
The unripe berries are as well and in some cases the ripe ones too

Originally posted by darwinslair:
anyway, if the berries are that high in alkaloyds, there would not be edible to begin with.

Not really there are a LOT of cultures that eat ripe berries of S. nigrum. Leaves too, once theyre cooked (boiled black nightshade leaves are a tradional part of the greek cooked salad Horta for example and the ripe berries of the red fruited strain of black nightshade are widely used in India as an anti-infammatory. Low toxicity strains of S. nigrum are in fact quite common, the problem is there's no really obvios way of telling the types apart from sight.
Actually this seems like it could be in the realm of possibility. Garden Huckeberry is a selction from S. nigrum and Wonderberry a cross of that selection with the related S. villosum (despite it's seperate specific name of S.burbankii) Both of the parent plants are common weeds (though if you live in the US the two your more likey to see are American Black Nightshade (S. americanum and Eastern Black Nightshade S.ptychanthum). Then again, if the two crossed easily naturally and the results were toxic one would think that it would have happened and been noticed long ago (actually the fact that the wonderberry cross was artificial and the result did get a species name of it's own argues that it probably doesn't easily cross back to it's relatives naturally) Also if you are really worried remember that the alkaloids in nightshade are mostly solanine and solamargine, both of which are destryed by heat so if you are cooking the berries (as most people do with wonderberries, from what I understand while they taste better than garden huckeberries, they're still not great raw) you should be fine. I actually had a pot of black nightshade on my patio until a few weeks ago (I had bought a bag of South american coriander seed a while ago, and found in it (amoungst a lot of other things) some fruts that looked like a kind of wild husk tomato and which I them accidentally got mixed up with seed from some nightshade berries that were also hiding in the bag so I had to grow them all out to tell what was what)

You also may want to avoid trying out a fruit called greenberry nightshade (S. opacum). This is an Australian member of the family and its fruits are indeed edible whne ripe (they sort of taste tomatoey). The problem is that S. opacum and S.ptychanthum look almost identical except for the fact that the berries on S. opacum stay green which means that if you live somewhere where eastern black nightshade is common (which is pretty much everywhere in this country) eating the fruit feels a bit like playing Russian roulette (especially when you consider that the unripe berries of nightshades tend to be the most poisonous part) Unless you are growing it indoors (where you can guarntee no extraneous seed) I might give that one a miss (you wint miss much, greenberry nightshade fruit taste like a strong tomato but is the same size as a typical black nightshade berry (about that of a BB pellet) and prouces no more than it does so you need a LOT of plants to make enough fruit to do anything with)
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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Can a Sunberry cross with a tomato? I swear I at a Sunberry that tasted like a sweet cherry tomato from my plants.
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