Wednesday, 22 September 2010


This is Henbane. It is a member of the nightshade family and is very poisonous. It contains hyoscyamine and hyoscine, poisons that Doctor Crippin used to good effect when bumping off his wife back in the early 20th century. Unfortunately for him, a noose ended his own life shortly afterwards.

I had not seen this species until last June, when I stumbled upon 20 healthy plants that were growing in a chalky field that had had large quantities of manure dumped upon it. They were of a good size and pleased me greatly. (It really doesn't take much to please me greatly nowadays). The field was along the banks of the River Mole between Mickleham and Leatherhead.

Some authors consider this an evil looking plant, but I cannot see the darkness in it. In fact I reckon that Deadley Nightshade has more 'something of the night' about it.
Please accept this post in lieu of not having anything else to bore you with.


Kingsdowner said...

Not at all bored, just envious. I religiously check all rabbit warrens on the chalk, in optimistic hope of henbane plants.

Anonymous said...

I agree, not a bore at all. Cracking plant and one i`ve never seen.