The Nightshade Family

This family consists of around 100 genera and 2,700 species ranging from herbaceous perennials to trees. Some members of this family include chemicals called alkaloids that may be toxic if ingested. However, other members such as tomatoes, eggplants and potatoes are routinely consumed by humans. Plants in this family come from all over the world with the exception of Antarctica. A large percentage are native to South America and Central America.

Deadly Nightshade
Jamaican Forget-Me-Not
Angel's Trumpet
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Million Bells
Angel's Trumpet
Apple of Peru
Ornamental Tobacco
Chilean Bell Flower
Japanese Belladonna
Chalice Vines

Note on Taxonomy - Plant taxonomy is the art and science of classifying plants into groupings in order to help people make sense of the huge diversity found in the world. The people who do this for a living are called taxonomists. They are continually evaluating and re-evaluating how plants are classified. For example, with the recent emergence of DNA analysis, many plants have been changing classification.

Also, there is no one, single universal classification system for plants. Rather, there is a lot of debate among taxonomists which may lead to confusion for the average gardener. That is why, in these family listings, you often see the words "about" or "around" when counting the number of genera or species to include. It is also why new families are created and some of the old ones suddenly fade away. So, don't be surprised if you find slightly different information at other sites or sources. Oh, well.


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