By C.S. Richardson from Jessop & Toelken (eds) Flora of South Australia 3: 1243, fig. 565 (1986).

From Britton & Brown (1898) An Illustrated Flora of the Northern States, Canada and the British Possessions (Charles Scribner's Sons).

From Otto Wilhelm Thomé: Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz (1885) - Permission granted to use under GFDL by Kurt Stueber. Source:

From Curtis's Botanical Magazine, t. 2394.

Detail from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, t. 2394.

Detail from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, t. 2394.


*Hyoscyamus niger L., Sp. Pl. 1: 179 (1753)

T: `Habitat in Europae'; LINN 244.1, n.v., fide E. Schönbeck-Temesy, Fl. Iranica 100: 66 (1972). 

An image of the type specimen can be seen on the Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project pages


Foetid annual or biennial herb to 50 cm.

Basal leaves ovate, petiolate, the lamina up to 13 cm long, with 2–4 triangular lobes on each side; cauline leaves smaller, sessile and stem clasping.

Flowers subsessile. Calyx 10–15 mm long, the lobes triangular, 2–3 mm long. Corolla 20–30 mm diam., pale yellow with conspicuous purple veins. Anthers somewhat exserted.

Fruiting calyx broadly urn-shaped, to 25 mm long, veins prominent. Seeds c. 1.5 mm long, brown.

Distribution and ecology

Known only from early collections from scattered localities in eastern N.S.W., Vic. and southern S.A.

Common name

Black henbane

Selected specimens

N.S.W.: Cult. Sydney, 22 Jan. 1917, E.N. Ward (NSW)


Derivation of epithet

From the Latin niger, meaning black.

Images and information on web

Images and a great deal of information about H. niger as a weed in California can be found on the Encycloweedia pages at

Links to images of Hyoscyamus niger on the web can be found at

A photograph of the flowers can be seen on a German site at

There is access to an enormous amount of information about the historical use of this plant in medicine on the pages at An image is also available on this site.

And there are further images and information on the Flora of Northern Island site at

Further information about the toxic properties of this plant can be found with a search in the FDA Poisonous Plant Database

The detailed image of H. niger from Koehler's Medicinal-Plants (1887) can be accessed under “Henbane, Black” at