News about seasonal changes at Filnore Woods and how to get involved as a volunteer, if you want to.
Filnore Woods is the Community Woodland for Thornbury in South Gloucestershire. It aims to provide a diverse range of habitats for wildlife, to give people a wild place to visit and to provide opportunities for education. Find them across the field behind Thornbury Leisure Centre, BS35 3JB.
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Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) or Woody Nightshade is nowhere near as poisonous as deadly nightshade, to which it is not even closely related. The green berries are the most toxic part but less harmful when they turn red.
It's just as well to be able to recognise the plant, especially for children, but don't panic. It's related to the potato and to the Christmas house plant called winter cherry, which both have poisonous berries and we don't worry too much about those.
The stems are not rigid enough for the plant to stand up on its own so it scrambles among other plants.
The small flowers are like jewels in the undergrowth. The petals are purple and contrast with the yellow cone of stamens in the centre.