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PlantFiles: Henbane
Hyoscyamus niger

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hyoscyamus (hy-os-KY-uh-mus) (Info)
Species: niger (NY-ger) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

15 members have or want this plant for trade.


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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1 positive
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive giftgas On May 5, 2009, giftgas from Everson, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:

This is some poisonous stuff...I just popped about 300 seeds of this species...there was an irritating vapor that came off of the seeds that stung my nose and burned my eyes; I feel like I've been maced.

I plan on using this plant as "area denial" for a chipmunk infestation.

Negative Joan On Apr 1, 2007, Joan from Belfield, ND (Zone 4a) wrote:

This plant is listed on the North Dakota invasive/troublesome list and this information is being distributed in a guide developed by the ND Weed Control Association and other agencies.

Plant Features
Biennial or annual, erect, bushy, up to 3 feet tall
Large leaves, up to 5 inches wide and 8 inches long
Foliage sticky, hairy, and has a foul odor
Cream colored flowers with a purple center and purple veins
Many small seeds in vase-shaped capsules

Documented in a few areas. Grows under most conditions but prefers disturbed areas found along roads, gravel and scoria pits

Interesting Facts
Spreads by seed only
One plant can produce up to half-million seeds per year
All plant parts are poisionous to humans and livestock (contains alkaloids).
A few seeds can kill a small person if ingested
Irritates skin

Neutral mystic On Nov 16, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a sticky strong smelling annual or biennial. That also goes by the common name of Stinking nightshade because of the strong smell. Also goes by the common name of Black henbane. Grows in poor stony dry soils. All parts are toxic if ingested and can irritate skin on contact. The flowers and the seed heads are used in dry flower arrangements.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Leesburg, Virginia

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