The petrifying revelation was made by head gardener Trevor Jones of the world famous Alnwick Poison Garden in Northumberland. He told Express.co.uk: “We grow things like Deadly Nightshade. Now Deadly Nightshade: its botanical name is Atropa belladonna.
“It produces funny little flowers that you’d often see – pretty similar to potato plants.
“But then they produce this black, shiny, grape-like berry.
“And if a child eats four of those then they die.
“So that’s a native plant that will kill young children.”
Mr Jones warned that not only is the plant incredibly toxic, it’s also hidden to those who don’t know what they’re looking for.
He explained: “Now another reason that we have the Poison Garden is that, when I was a lad many years ago, we were always taught not to touch Deadly Nightshade when we were out in the countryside.
“These days, children sit at computers and they’re on mobile phones and their parents do the same.
“So they haven’t experienced these plants.”
Deadly Nightshade grows wild all over the UK, particularly in dumps, quarries, near old ruins, under shade trees, or atop wooded hills.
Other names for the plant include belladonna, deadly nightshade, devil’s berries, naughty man’s cherries, death cherries, beautiful death, and devil’s herb.
It is not only the berries that are violently poisonous – the foliage is too.
Children are in particular danger as the berry is both attractively glossy and deceptively sweet upon initial tasting.
Ten of these berries will kill a fully grown human adult, although cattle, horses, rabbits, goats and sheep are immune.
Belladonna has a long history as a killer and was frequently used as a method of assassination.
According to history, Scotland’s King Duncan I, in 1030, passed around bottles of the deadly drink to a Danish army, reputedly killing them all.