Scientific Name:
Hyoscyamus niger
tropane alkaloids
Flower Color:
fields, roadsides, wasteareas, gardens, ornamental

Geographical Distribution

Black henbane distribution - United States

Black Henbane

Hyoscyamus niger

Poison tobacco, Bulmeurt, Bolmört, Bulmeurt, Stinking nightshade, fetid nightshade, insane root, hog’s-bean, jupiter’s-bean, henbell, hyoscyamus, symphonica, cassilata
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Black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) is a cultivated, ornamental, highly poisonous, erect biennial or annual plant. In the first year, henbane develops a large leaf rosette, which can at first glance look like cabbage. During the second growing season, it bolts and flowers from June to August. The plant produces hundreds of seeds from July to October that can remain viable for 5 years or more.

Henbane can group up to 3 feet in height and is covered in glandular hairs, which make the plant feel sticky if touched. It has hairy, coarsely-toothed to shallowly lobed leaves which put off a foul odor. It produces one-sided clusters of funnel-shaped, 5-lobed, greenish to brownish-yellow flowers which have a purple center and purple veins.

Toxic components
The whole plant contains tropane alkaloids (hyoscyamine, atropine and scopolamine).
Black henbane toxic components horses
The seeds contain the highest concentration of toxins, although all parts are poisonous.


  • diarrhea
  • increased heart rate
  • convulsions
  • sudden death


CHEMICAL: Black henbane can be controlled with 2,4-D, dicamba, Tordon and glyphosate; best if applied prior to the plant flowering.

MECHANICAL: Handpulling, cutting, or digging small infestations can be an effective means of controlling black henbane. Wear gloves and protective clothing.