Black Henbane - Hyoscamus niger

Description: Black henbane was introduced into North America from the Mediterranean as an ornamental and medicinal plant in the 17th century. It is grows up to 1m tall and the plant is covered in small hairs (much like tomato plants). It has tubular green-yellow flowers with purple veins and a purple center.

Type: annual or biennial forb

Habitat & Impacts: It grows well in a wide range of conditions, but does require well-drained soil and is not tolerant of shade. Black henbane is narcotic and poisonous to humans. Livestock avoid grazing it unless other forage is not available.

Method of Spread: Black henbane reproduces exclusively by seed. A single plant can produce up to half a million seeds in one season. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for about 4 years.

Location: Chilcotin Plateau with limited distribution

Management Options:

Mechanical: Mowing is effective, but difficult due to its thick, tough stem. Hand-pulling is effective; however, protective clothing and gloves should be worn to prevent rashes. Mature plants can be burned after pulling to kill the seeds.

Chemical: Picloram, dicamba, metsulfuron, 2,4-D, and Glyphosphate can be used pre-bloom.

Biological: There is no biocontrol currently available for black henbane.

CCCIPC Priority & Treatment Strategy: Priority 1 (new invader) in Chilcotin, not found in any other areas in the province. Eradication is the management objective.

Treatment Options:

Local Level - hand pulling small infestations
Landscape Level - chemical control for larger sites.

Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte,

Black Henbane mature plant

Jill Samanek,

Black Henbane flower


Invasive species profile taken from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee Invasive Plant Regional Strategic Plan

Page last modified: October 30, 2018 09:44:02 PDT