Meet the Nightshadow family. Its members include familiar favourites like the potato, aubergine and tomato plants, consumed almost daily by much of mankind. Yet a sense of mystery shrouds many other members of this vast genus. Even the origin of the name is uncertain. Why ‘night’? Why ‘shade’? It is thought that the latter possibly refers to the toxic properties of some plants, while night might refer to the fact that some flowers within the family emit a strong odour only after dark.
It was only natural, therefore, to picture the main figures in the Nightshadow dynasty as they radiate after nightfall. The photographs personify the plants, give them a face and capture their character. Even so, the complexity of such deceptively ordinary plants is only gradually coming to light. Plant geneticists have recently discovered that the humble tomato plant contains over 31,000 genes — 7,000 more than a human being. But do you know who’s who in this portrait gallery? Do you know which of these plants are innocent and which are poisonous? Is this fruit eatable or deadly?
Growing nightshades occupating your house
Raus magazine #24