Toxic Plant Question

Asked July 17, 2017, 8:33 PM EDT

Hi! I have a strawberry patch and I discovered a plant growing in it about a month ago but could not identify it. Thanks to some berries that recently grew on it I was able to search Google to identify it. After much searching, I discovered that the mystery plant is the deadly Black Nightshade! My question is, what is the safest way to dispose/remove it and are my strawberries still safe to eat? Thank you in advance!

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

Not to worry!
Another name for this plant is simply Eastern black nightshade (Solanum ptycanthum).
It is a common weed in the Eastern U.S., and probably got the scary moniker because it can poison livestock when eaten.
Your strawberries are fine and unaffected.
You can pull the plant at the base,, or if that would cause a lot of root disruption to your berry patch, cut it at the soil line. You could also leave it. It is an annual that will die with frost, but cut off the berries and dispose of them, so they are less likely to seed themselves in that area next year.