Hyoscyamus niger, Black Henbane

Gardens & Landscapes, Invasive Species, Extension Master Gardener September 20, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF

Invasive Species: Hyoscyamus niger, Black Henbane

Black henbane is an invasive annual or biennial plant that can grow to 3 ft. (1 m) in height. The fetid-smelling leaves are alternate, simple, toothed, up to 8 in. (20 cm) long, and 6 in. (15 cm) wide. In the early season (annual), or first year of growth (biennial), the plant is represented by a rosette. Flowering occurs in spring to early fall. Flowers are cream to green, five-lobed, 2 in. (5 cm) wide, and have purple throats. Seeds are small and black. Prolific seed production increases the spread of this plant, as a single plant can produce up to half a million seeds. Black henbane is native to the Mediterranean and is poisonous to most mammals. It has been used medicinally for hundreds of years.

What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Solanales > Solanaceae > Hyoscyamus niger L.

Synonym(s): henbane

Hyoscyamus niger - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

Black henbane - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important 

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an Invasive Species to EDDMapS.

Cooperative Extension Offices - Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA.

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Plant

Black henbane is an annual or biennial plant that can grow to 3 ft. (1 m) in height.

Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, bugwood.org Steve Dewey, Utah State University, bugwood.org

Foliage

The fetid-smelling leaves are alternate, simple, toothed, up to 8 in. (20 cm) long, and 6 in. (15 cm) wide. In the early season (annual), or first year of growth (biennial), the plant is represented by a rosette.

Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, bugwood.org Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration,   bugwood.org

Flower

Flowering occurs in spring to early fall. Flowers are cream to green, five-lobed, 2 in. (5 cm) wide, and have purple throats.

Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte,  bugwood.org Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration,   bugwood.org

Fruit

Seeds are small and black. Prolific seed production increases the spread of this plant, as a single plant can produce up to half a million seeds.

Robert Videki, Doronicum Kft., bugwood.org Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, bugwood.org

Native Species That Can Resemble Black Henbane

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

- Images at invasive.org

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

Additional Images for Black Henbane

Black henbane - Images at Invasive.org

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.

United States Land-Grant University System - Find your land-grant university's college of agriculture, Cooperative Extension office, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Fact Sheet - University of Nevada, Reno

List B Species - Colorado Dept. of Agriculture

Idaho's Noxious Weeds - Idaho Association of Soil Conservation Districts

MontGuide - MSU Extension


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.