| Uses: Medicinal/Poisonous!
|| Duration: Annual |
| When to Sow: Spring/Late Summer/Early Fall
|| Ease of Germination: Easy |
A striking, odiferous plant with a legendary reputation. Henbane has been used as an instrument of assassination and murder since antiquity, most famously in Shakespeare’s play Hamlet: “Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,/with juice of cursed hebona in a vial.” Gerard’s Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes (1633) says “the leaves, seed and juyce taken inwardly causeth an unquiet sleepe like unto the sleep of drunkenness, which continueth long, and is deadly to the party.” In fact the plant contains the tropane alkaloids hyoscyamine and scopolamine, which in low doses have a sedative effect, but in higher doses will cause mania, hallucination, euphoria, convulsion and death. Henbane’s uses are more benign today, giving us useful drugs for ophthalmology and the prevention of motion sickness. An annual plant that has naturalized in North America, it has broad, coarse leaves and grayish-yellow flowers heavily veined in black, with dark centers. Fascinating as a specimen plant or where grown for therapeutic use. Modern cases of poisoning are rare, and henbane’s reformed reputation has made it a respectable garden dweller at last, albeit with an unsavory past.|
Due to USDA regulations, this item can not be shipped to California or North Dakota.