Black henbane is a tap-rooted annual or biennial that reproduces primarily by seed. The highly unusual flowers are brownish yellow with distinct purple veins and a purple-to-black center. Leaves are large with an irregularly lobed margin and distinct light-colored midribs and veins. The foliage produces a foul odor and has a ‘greasy’ or oily appearance.
Black henbane was more than likely introduced for its medicinal uses, but has shown itself to be more toxic than useful. This plant contains several toxic alkaloids and can cause failure of the cardio vascular system upon consumption. Additionally, there is evidence that the entire plant, root to seed, is toxic.
This plant invades disturbed soils and has very fine seeds that travel very well in muddy equipment. This plant is fairly cyclical and is more of a nuisance in Teton County.
If found on your property or for control options,
please contact Teton County Weed and Pest District 733-8419.