Belladonna (Atropa belladonna), also called Deadly Nightshade, is a herbaceous perennial that is native to Central and Southern Europe. Nodding, dark, bell-shaped flowers give way to large, soft, shining black berries; it is a very charming but insidious plant. Due to the toxic nature of this plant, we recommend alternatives unless you are an experienced herbalist.
Belladonna, closely associated with the underworld, is used to consecrate and charge tools that are used to commune with spirits such as a scrying mirror. Belladonna is also said to be an ingredient in one of the many flying ointments. In spellwork, deadly nightshade can be used to aid in astral travel, divination, prophetic dreaming, and visions. Additionally, due to the toxic nature of belladonna, it has been used in baneful magick such as death potions, curses, and hexes.
Toxicity: All parts of the plant, with the probable exception of the berry, are loaded with the very serious alkaloids atropine and scopolamine. As is often the case with such plants, the seed is particularly potent. While the berry may potentially be eaten without ill effects if the berry is consumed along with the seeds, then you may experience the typical side-effects of atropine overdose. The side-effects may include hallucination with mental derangement, excessive urination and urine off-odor, tunnel vision, or often temporary blindness, sometimes lasting only an evening or dragging on for several days. Keep this plant and seeds away from children and animals.
Cultivation: Hardy in zones 5-9. Plant prefers partial to full shade, average fertility, moist soil. Sow in fall or early spring. Slow to germinate. Some degree of cold conditioning usually helpful, although I've seen them languish in the shadehouse while others planted under lights thrived. But that's not always the way it works--you have to shift around a little to discover what each one likes. Do small farm-derived experiments where you sow a few seeds in one condition, with a leaning toward what you think will work best. Information derived through observation--stirring it up. That's what lays the groundwork for knowledge. Space plants 2 feet apart. Grows to 3 feet tall, flowers purple. Extraordinary seed.
One packet of 100 seeds. Certified organically grown.