Weed Control for Black Henbane

Black henbane is a biennial or annual plant part of the nightshade family. It is poisonous to humans and livestock if ingested and is regulated to the Weed Control Act of Alberta. Symptoms include impaired vision, convulsions, coma, and in occasional severe situations, death from heart or respiratory failure.  

Black henbane grows in a wide range of soil textures and pH however, it prefers well drained soil that receives a lot of sun. Black henbane reproduces by seed and one plant can produce up to half a million seeds, which are viable for up to 4 years. 

Black henbane is not a strong competitor, if you keep good healthy vegetation it should help to prevent a plant from taking root. Currently there are no registered herbicides for Black henbane so mowing and hand pulling in the first year of growth is the most effective control. Pulling before it flowers is best to prevent it from go to seed. When hand pulling make sure you wear protective gloves and clothing to prevent skin irritation. Bag the pulled plants to prevent the plant from going to seed and put the bags in the garbage to be disposed of at the landfill. 

More information on Black henbane and other weeds of concern in Rocky View County can be found here.  Also, a useful invasive weed identification booklet can be found here and specific weed fact sheets can be found on the Alberta Invasive Species Council website.

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