Potato (Family Solanaceae)
Solanaceae is a family of flowering plants that contains a number of
important agricultural crops as well as many toxic plants. The family
is also informally known as the nightshade - or potato family. The
family includes Datura (jimson weed), Mandragora (mandrake),
belladonna (deadly nightshade), Capsicum (paprika, chili pepper),
Solanum (potato, tomato, aubergine or eggplant), Nicotiana (tobacco),
and Petunia (petunia). With the exception of tobacco (Nicotianoideae)
and petunia (Petunioideae) most of the economically-important gen-
era are contained in the sub-family Solanoideae.
Family Solanaceae is widely distributed in tropical and temperate
regions of both the hemispheres but is chiefly found in western and
southern South America.
The Solanaceae Family is extensively utilized by humans. It is an
important source of food, spice and medicine. However, Solanaceae
species are often rich in alkaloids whose toxicity to humans and
animals ranges from mildly irritating to fatal in small quantities.
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