Nightshades

Nightshades.  One may think of the deadly nightshade flower called belladonna but many are harmless.  For example that friendly neighborhood basket of petunias is a member. Nightshades belong to the Solanaceae  family as do many other flowers.

Painted Tongue or Salpiglossis

Another beautiful member is the Painted Tongue flower or Salpiglossis  . (The botanical name always makes me think of the Sesame street character Snuffleupagus )

Many familiar vegetables are in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes,

peppers, eggplant and potatoes, but all of these belong to a different genus somewhat like cousins belong to the same family but have different parents. Some vegetables that are members of the nightshade family cause problems for some people with autoimmune diseases such as  psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Pepper flower

Tomatoes for example might cause problems such as mouth sores or joints swelling for one person yet peppers don’t bother them. But when they are eliminated from their diet the symptoms diminish or completely go away. But let’s get back to the flowers.

Four O’Clock

The Four O’Clock  another nightshade that blooms from the late afternoon to early morning hours  is a special favorite. Reminds me of my grandmother’s home where they bloomed right on schedule below her south facing porch which was shaded somewhat by a large maple tree.  Until next time.

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