This member of the Solanaceae
family was given this name by Antonio
Bertoloni. It is found in Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia,
Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Yugoslavia,
Portugal and Spain. It prefers a well drained but rich peat with
some to lots of water and some to full sun.
The swollen roots can
grow to ten centimetres in diameter - or more, and can be raised.
The flowers are violet, and beside from seeds, the plant can be
reproduced by dividing the roots.
It is mentioned in many folklore legends, probably due to the roots
alikeness to the human body. Got a rather big role in Harry Potter,
where the deathly scream while repotting was mentioned. According to
folklore, you would die, if you pulled it up. The safe way was to
tie a dog to it, and let the dog pull it up.
Poison ; contains alkaloids
scopolamine, mandragorin, and hyosciamine.