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Atropa belladonna
Nightshade family (Solanaceae)

Identification: Belladoanna is a three to five foot tall perennial plant with a leafy, smooth, branched stem. It posseses fuzzy ovate leaves grown to be about eight inches. The leaves growing from the plant the first year of planting are shown to be larger than those of following years. Belladonna grows bell-shaped flowers of a blueish purple color or a dull red color. The berries that grow after the preceding flowers are approximately one half inch in lenght 1 centameter in diameter, and shiny black or purple in color. Belladonna is native to Europe and Aisa.

Cultivation and Propaganda: Belladonna grows vigorously in the United States. During the winter it subsides waiting for the spring to call back the slumbering pant from it's roots. Belladonna favors well drained and well limed soil kept consistanly moist. It can be kept in full sunlight or partial shade. In cases of extream sunlight the growth rate will diminish. In areas of extream heat and sunlight, belledonna can ge grown between rows of beens for shade.

Belladonna is generally dispersed by seed and sown in flats during the first half of March. Germanation take a month to six weeks so an early start is essential. When the sprouts grow to be an inch high the should be moved to eighteen inches apart. Water them well directly after transplant and keep them shaded for several days. The first year the plants will only grow to be a foot and a half tall and flower in September. At this time the leaves and the tops may be collected but it is warned not to entirely strip the plant. When the winter begins the plant should be moved to two to three feet apart as to prevent overcrowding. In June cut the plants down to an inch above the ground during flowering. In good years the plant will be ready for harvesting a second time in September. The autumn of the fourth year the roots of the plant may be collected to make way for new planting. You can also plant belladonna by means of cutting the green branch tips and using them to start new plants.

Harvesting: All parts of the belladonna plant should be dried quickly in the sun, directly after harvesting. Any wilted or discolored leaves should be disguarded as they contain little or no alkaloids and therefore serve no real purpose.

Snails, aphids and white flies are the pests most anoying to the growing Belladonna plant. As with all potentionally harmfull plants, belladonna should be kept out of reach of children, especially as they are more suceptable to poisoning.

Uses: There are several medical uses of belladonna. The name (fair lady) comes from the story of the Italian ladies who would drop the juice in their eyes to enlarge their pupils and make their eyes more dazzaling. Atropine, a chemical found in belladonna is used by modern eye doctors to dilate the pupils to they can examine the retina. Two other substances found in belladonna, scopolamine and hyoscyamine, are used in a number of antispasmodics used to treat intestinal disorders like diarrhea, irritable colon, and peptic ulcers.

Preperation: To use belladonna for it's halucinagenic qualities one would (after reading the following warning) soak the plant in rubbing alcohol for a couple of days and then evaporate it by means of an electric grill. Once the stuff evaporates into a gunny resin take about one fifth of a gram (0.2 grams). Have someone trust worthy around and the number of a hospitol with a poison control center. Someone once ate 2 berries and the only reaction was very dry, unpleasant mouth and nose. Another person took 6 berries and it was only worse, nothing more. It is said that the berries can have very highly varying concentrations so it might be possible to OD on a usually harmless dose.

WARNING: Belladonna is an atropine based plant and is a severe hallucinagen, actually more like a delerient. It is not reccommended for stupid high schoolers looking for a buzz. All concepts of reallity are lost under the affects of belladonna. Belladonna trips are a billion times more real than anything you've ever seen under the influence of any other hallucinagen. I have read that you could be "sitting down watching t.v. at one moment and next you see your dead grandmother next to you on the sofa asking for more tea" a person also said, "I personally took a bath with over million insects and did not know that this is not real". I do not recomend the abuse of this plant. Witches use this plant on sabbat to envision satan himself. You could see something good, or something evil. Belladonna is extremely toxic. Relatively small amounts can cause coma and/or death. The ripe berries are sweet and poisonous and to be kept away from children and pets. The places belladona takes you, you were not meant to go.

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