Cicely Mary Barker's Nightshade Berry Fairy


"You see my berries, how they gleam and
glow,
Clear ruby-red, and green, and orange-
yellow;
Do they not tempt you, fairies, dangling so?"
The fairies shake their heads and answer "No!
You are a crafty fellow!"

"What, won't you try them! There is
naught to pay!
Why should you think my berries poisoned
things?
You fairies may look scared and fly away-
The children will believe me when I say
My fruit is fruit for kings!"
But all good fairies cry in anxious haste,
"O children, do not taste!"

 
    Nightshade, Common (solanum dulcamara)

Common Nightshade is native to Europe, North Africa and northern Asia and has been naturalized in North America.  It grows along the wayside and flourishes in open areas.  It is especially attractive in autumn when the berries change in color from green to red.

 

Varieties of nightshade have been used medicinally for hundreds of years. Although it has many healing properties, from treatment of skin problems to relief of asthma, it is toxic and must be used only under the care of a professional. 

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