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While removing weeds, I noticed this strange vine-like growth. It has some distinct features (all visible in the picture below):

  • Tall, vine-like growth
  • Small greenish fruit that turn red
  • Lilac flowers

Is this a weed that I should whack, or is this some sort of "useful" plant?

enter image description here

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6

It's woody nightshade. An inedible relative of the potato/tomato family.

Contains solanine which is the stuff in green potatoes that's poisonous, though in a lot less quantity except the berries which are quite full of it. Can be phototoxic (chemical burn after sunlight exposure) if you get the juice on your skin, so wash it off.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solanum_dulcamara

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  • Oh snap. What should I do with it? – ashes999 Aug 5 '13 at 22:50
  • Depends on whether you view it as a weed or an unintended landscaping element. If you decide to eradicate it, use gloves and dig out the root before the berries ripen and drop. – Fiasco Labs Aug 5 '13 at 22:53
  • They pull out pretty easy. The bright red berries are also poisonous. – kevinsky Aug 5 '13 at 23:33
  • I yanked it out, although I'm not sure I got the whole root. I'll check back later. – ashes999 Aug 5 '13 at 23:46

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