From: The Catalogue of Fantastic and Fatal Flora--an experimental sourcebook of seeds for those who find this world regrettable
Magnoliopsida Solanales Solanaceae Virgatus: Striped Nightshade
Packet of 25 seeds $4.50 (subject to availability--see note at end of description)
*Common names: striped nightshade; rotting nightshade; deathberries; corpseplant, Traumkraut; Alptraumkraut; hanged man's herb, Toadsbeer (from Todesbeeren-death berries); ravenseed; crowbells.
*Medical uses are often in tandem with leech work as Virgatus thins blood.
*Pharmacology includes coagulator prophylactics, hemostatic functions and toxins. Lethal injection compounds commonly include Virgatus.
*Virgatus flowers are bell like, with six thick fleshed petals - each one pale luminous green with dark purple-black stripes. The leaves are alternate, and have brittle hairs on top with a slimy undersurface. The plant produces a large fruit-like berry from each flower - the berries are long and egg shaped, each one mottled dark green and pink. They contain a grey melon like flesh, with a fetid stench to it. The shiny, flat, tear shaped white seeds are embedded within. Each berry will fall, if left, and break open, attracting scavenger birds such as ravens with its stench. The growth cycle is like that of lettuce, setting low at first, then bolting; the first growth appears in April, with the last frosts, the plant sets berries in late June. Virgatus dies back by first frost.
*Virgatus is usually found in wastelands and dry barren lands; it prefers hot sunny locations with definite growing periods followed by icy seasons (seeds need to freeze before they can germinate in the thaw). This plant tends to grow best where ground has been disturbed as the more this plant's roots are disturbed during its germination, the hardier it grows, unlike other plants which die when disturbed during the white thread phase.
*The use of certain ground additives, such as ash or lime, stimulates Virgatus to grow faster, so it was typically seen flourishing on newly dug graves of hanged men in jail-cemeteries where quick lime was used to dispose of bodies rapidly and thoroughly. Hence some of its more common names.
*Due to the blood thinning properties of this plant's main chemical coumarin, ingesting any part of this plant will result in certain death by slow ensanguation. Waking nightmares and / or waking dreams, caused by the gradual decline in blood feeding the brain, are commonly associated with the fatal aspects of this plant. There is no verified antidote.
*The Norse god Odin was said to have a fondness for this plant, but this could be merely something attributed to him, as he was known, among other things, as the God of Hanged Men.
NOTE: Illegal to possess or to cultivate in all parts of the known world. The unknown world, however, has no such censures or restrictions. Please contact the publisher of the Catalogue for the most current seed availability. Specify heirloom or Fl.