Deadly Nightshade, also called Belladonna, is a native, wild cousin to the Tomato. Click on each photo to see these tiny little wildflowers larger-than-life.
W I L D F L O W E R S — There is a boardwalk in town that I ride my bike on almost everyday. Not many people use it, but it's a shortcut from my street to the center of town. It's on the edge of a small lake, and at certain times of the year you can see forty or fifty box turtles hanging out on the edge of the water on lily pads and [unfortunately] an old tire that seems to have become an island resort for the small creatures.
Once or twice a year the town employees cut back the greenery that grows along the sides of the walkway. Right now this beautiful little plant called Deadly Nightshade, or Belladonna is growing along the planks in one area. I've always loved the delicate and tiny purple and yellow flowers of this botanical relative to the tomato. You can see that it even has small fruit that turns red, but as the name implies, is highly toxic.
Most people don't even notice plants like this because they're not in a garden, or they're not large and showy, or bright screaming "Look at me!" but I've always found if you take a minute and really look around wherever you are, you can find all sorts of beauty that is otherwise passed by in the rush of the day. This entire plant is about 10 inches high and perhaps a foot long, and the individual flowers are only 1/4- to a 1/2-inch in size. It can grow into quite a climbing plant, but the flowers are always tiny. I'm sure this plant will be gone soon as it's just about time for the town crew to do their summer cutting. I had to lie down on the boardwalk to get these shots.
For other beautiful, but toxic flowers, click here.