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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of plants of the family Solanaceae. The plants are large perennial herbs having a thick rhizome and entire, alternate leaves. The solitary flowers droop from the axils; they have a companulate calyx and a campanulate or tubular corolla. The fruit is a capsule.

There are four to six species, distributed in the temperate belt of Eurasia. One species, S. carniolica, is found in the USSR, growing mainly in the broadleaf forests of the Caucasus and the western European section of the country. All parts of the plant, especially the rhizome and roots, contain the alkaloids hyoscy-amine and scopolamine. Some other species, for example, S. lurida, which grows in the Himalayas, and S. tangutica, which grows in Tibet, also contain the alkaloid atropine. All three species are cultivated in the USSR as medicinal plants because of their alkaloid content.


Atlas lekarstvennykh rastenii SSSR. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.