Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet, dulcamara, climbing nightshade, felon wood,
scarlet berry, violet bloom). A member of the plant family SOLANACEAE. Perennial,
scrambling climber with clusters of violet flowers. Fruits are green berries becoming
scarlet-red and juicy when fully ripe. The plant is common in hedges, woods, on waste
land and shingle beaches.
Animals most affected
Ingestion of contaminated fodder (notably maize fodder), particularly in ruminants
where large quantities are consumed over a prolonged period (10-20 days).
Contains toxic glycoalkaloids, alkamines and solanines. Toxic doses not known: the
plant is reputedly non-toxic to sheep and goats.
reduced milk production;
anorexia, diarrhoea, colic;
neuromuscular signs of incoordination.
Outcome generally favourable.
No antidote. Symptomatic care only:
removal of contaminated fodder or prevention of further access to the plant.