The brightly coloured berries and lovely flowers will invite you and your kids. But those terrible berries will never tell you that they will cause danger to you. Be cautious.
Bittersweet nightshade is a trailing or low climbing perennial woody vine in the potato family growing up to 10 ft. in length. The stiff stems are erect to clambering, purple above and greenish below with a hollow pith and single bundle scar. Simple alternate leaves are 2-4 in. in length, broadly ovate often with basal lobes, dark green above and lighter below, and hairless with entire margins. Leaves and stems have an unpleasant odor when bruised or crushed. Flowers develop during summer as hanging clusters of bright purple petals (occasionally white) with yellow anthers. Hanging clusters of bright red berries ripen in autumn and are oval, 3/8-1/2 in. long and contain numerous seeds. The root system is made up of a taproot and rhizomes. Bittersweet nightshade is located in moist disturbed sites, thickets, roadsides, fence rows, woods, cliffs, marshes, and pond and river banks. It is often found growing among non-native blackberries in parks and along un-maintained roadsides. This sprawling vine often drapes low over trees and shrubs. All parts of the plant are toxic, affecting humans, livestock, and wildlife.