|Poison Berry Blossoms|
|Potato Blossom |
photo courtesy of
Well, since many members the Solinaceae family tend to be toxic in some form or another, it makes perfect sense. I had read many times not to give chickens the peelings from potatoes (Solanum Tuberosum). Many sources explain that the skins are poisonous, but the cooked potatoes themselves are not. I never really looked into that particular fact until recently, when I became a knowledge seeking machine over Solanums. In doing so, I learned that indeed, potatoes contain toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids.
According to Wikipedia, "Exposure to light, physical damage, and age increase glycoalkaloid content within the tuber; the highest concentrations occur just underneath the skin. Cooking at high temperatures (over 170 °C or 340 °F) partly destroys these."
This explains why I have seen so many cautions against the green peelings in particular!
This unique and interesting family of plants is extremely diverse. It is one that should be respected and folks should definitely do their homework when working with them to avoid any trouble with their toxic tendencies. Is it worth the trouble? My Stars, YES! I could not do with out tasty salsas, freshly dug potatoes and tasty eggplant parmesan. I mean, really, could you? For the most part, they aren't really deadly, you just need to know your nightshades... and now you do!