Solanum nigrum (black morel, petty morel, garden nightshade). A member of the family SOLANACEAE. Small, much branched bushy annual plant, with dull green foliage and oval stalked leaves. Angled hollow bearing clusters of white flowers, succeeded by small green round fruit, ripening into shiny black berries. Very common wild plant, especially in cultivated soils.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Cattle, (sheep, goats, pigs, poultry).


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Ingestion of contaminated hay, particularly (maize) silage.
Note:the plant has become increasingly resistant to the herbicides used on cultivated corn (such as atrazine and simazine). This resistance is currently a major problem, endemic in many areas of France.
The growing plant is unappetizing to eat due to its bitter taste and unpleasant odour.


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains glucoalkaloids such as alphasolanine and solanidine. Toxicity varies considerably according to prevailing soil conditions and stage in growth, making toxic doses difficult to quantify. Maximal plant toxicity is reached when the berries are green (i.e. unripe); poisoning occurs when ingestion takes place over a prolonged period, especially if maize silage is badly contaminated (more than I ~l 5% fresh weight). Similar effects result if the green berries are ingested over a prolonged period.


[clinical.gif] Clinical features
reduced appetite, drop in lactation;


[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific: enteritis.


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No antidote. Symptomatic care only:



Recommendations
In order to make use of highly contaminated (where the percentage content of black nightshade is equal to or more than 10% of fresh plant weight):