Image by Apuch
By Nikki Phipps
(Author of The Bulb-o-licious Garden)
Nightshades are a large and diverse family of plants. Most of these plants are poisonous, especially the unripe fruits. In fact, some of the more well known plants in this family include ornamentals such as Belladonna (deadly nightshade), Datura and Brugmansia (Angel’s trumpet), and Nicotinia (tobacco plant) – all of which include poisonous properties that can cause anything from skin irritation, rapid heartbeat and hallucinations to seizures and even death. But were you aware that some of your favorite vegetables may also belong to this group of plants?
What Are Nightshade Vegetables?
So what does nightshade vegetable mean exactly? What are nightshade vegetables, and are they safe for us to eat? Many of the nightshade family vegetables fall under the species of Capscium and Solanum.
Although these do contain toxic aspects, they still bear edible parts, like the fruits and tubers, depending on the plant. Several of these plants are cultivated in the home garden and are known as nightshade vegetables. In fact, those that are edible happen to include some of the most commonly eaten vegetables today.
List of Nightshade Vegetables
Here is a list of the most common (and maybe not so common) vegetables in the nightshade family.
While these are perfectly safe to eat under ordinary circumstances, some people may be sensitive to these plants regardless, suffering allergic reactions. If you are known to be highly sensitive to any of the nightshade plants, it’s recommended that you steer clear of them whenever possible.
- Potato (excluding sweet potato)
- Pepper (includes hot and sweet varieties as well as spices like paprika, chili powder, cayenne, and Tabasco)
- Gogi berry (wolfberry)
- Cape gooseberry/ground cherry
- Garden huckleberry