BLACK HENBANE

(Hyoscyamus niger L.) 

    http://madebymothereagle.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/henbane.jpg        http://slco.org/weeds/images/idLarge/blackHenbane2.jpg
http://www.cwma.org/images/weeds/black-henbane-1.jpg

COMMON NAMES:

Insane root, stinking nightshade, fetid nightshade, hog’s beam

DESCRIPTION:

Black henbane is an annual or biennial plant that grows up to 3 feet tall. The entire plant is covered with greasy hairs. The leaves are up to 8 inches long and 6 inches wide, and are shallowly lobed, and heavy scented. Flowers are born on spikes and form the leaf axils from May until September. They are showy, 5 lobed, up to 2 inches across, and greenish-yellow in color with deep purple veins and throats. The calyx forms a 1-inch, urn-shaped "fruit" that has a thickened lid that pops off at maturity and spills the black seeds.

KEY FEATURES OF BLACK HENBANE:

Black henbane has large irregular lobed leaves. This plant produces a foul smell. Another feature is the sticky hairs and also the purple-veined yellowish flowers in one-sided spikes.

HABITAT:

Black henbane can be in forage crops, rangeland, irrigation areas, right of ways, and waste areas.

CONTROL:

Herbicides that control Black henbane are Escort and Tordon. For more information and mixing instructions on herbicides read the labels or contact the CCWP office.

OTHER FACTS:

Livestock will avoid foraging on Black henbane unless there is no other forage available and can be toxic to livestock if grazed. One single plant can produce up to a half a million seeds. Black henbane alkaloids have been used in the past, and are currently used, in medicines at controlled dosages. Black henbane is poisonous to humans.