Hyoscyamus niger


Black henbane, also known as henbane, is an annual or biennial an annual forb growing up to 3 feet tall.  The entire plant is sticky, hairy and odorous.  It has coarsely toothed leaves up to 8 inches long and 6 inches wide (source). In early season (annual), or first year of growth (biennial) the plant is represented by a rosette.  Flowers are cream to green, five-lobed, 2 inches wide and have purple throats.  Seeds are small and black (source).


Disturbed areas.

Location in Nebraska

Priority invasive species in the shortgrass prairie ecoregion of Nebraska.

Pathway of Introduction and Spread

Henbane is thought to have been native originally to a broad region of Eurasia and is cultivated as a medicinal plant in many countries, and risk of introduction is likely to be associated with commercial seed or as a seed contaminant (source).


Once established, henbane is capable of producing thousands of highly viable seeds per plant. Henbane is poisonous to most mammals (source).

Photo Credits: 

Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte, Bugwood.org
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
Joseph M. DiTomaso, University of California – Davis, Bugwood.org