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The flowers are in loose clusters, star-shaped, with five purple petals and yellow stamens and style pointing forward. The fruit is an ovoid red berry, soft and juicy, with the aspect and odor of a tiny tomato, and edible for some birds, which disperse the seeds widely. However, the berry is poisonous to humans and livestock, and the berry's attractive and familiar look make it dangerous for children.
Bittersweet Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara) has been valued by herbalists since ancient Greek times. In the Middle Ages the plant was thought to be effective against witchcraft, and was sometimes hung around the neck of cattle to protect them from the "evil eye."