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nightshade seeds

Nightshade seeds

Black nightshade flowers from July to September. A plant can produces up to 400 berries each containing about 40 seeds. An average plant produces 9,000 seeds but a large plant may have 153,000. Seed from unripe berries tested 27 days after flower opening gave 100% germination. Even seed collected at just 15 days after flowering gave germination levels of 20% after a period of dry storage.

Infection of the plant with tobacco mosaic virus reduces seed viability. Black nightshade is not eaten by rabbits.

Black nightshade is a native annual found throughout most of England but becoming rarer northwards and local in Wales. It is recorded up to 1,000 ft. Black nightshade is a plentiful and troublesome weed of agricultural and horticultural fields and gardens. It occurs on a wide range of soils but prefers soil rich in nitrogen.

Control is by surface cultivations in spring and the growing of crops that can be hoed easily. Berry formation must be prevented by tillage, mowing or the pulling of mature plants.

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