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Deadly nightshade and related plants

The Solanaceae is a family of flowering plants, many of which are edible, while others are considered poisonous.

The family is informally known as the nightshade or potato family.

The family includes the Datura or Jimson weed, eggplant, mandrake, deadly nightshade or belladonna, capsicum (paprika, chile pepper), potato, tobacco, tomato, and petunia.

The most important species of this family for the global diet is the potato.

The Solanaceae are known for possessing a diverse range of alkaloidal glucosides, or simply alkaloids.

As far as humans are concerned, these alkaloids can be desirable, toxic, or both, though they presumably evolved because they reduced the tendency of animals to eat the plants.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Deadly nightshade and related plants", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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September 4, 2015

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