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European Scopolia (Scopolia carniolica)

Names for this plant:

  • Scientific/Vitenskapelig Scopolia carniolica
  • English/Engelsk European Scopolia, Russian Belladonna
  • Norway/Norsk Galnebær
  • Swedish/Svensk Dårört
  • Danish/Dansk Skopolaminurt


Scopolia carniolica, the European scopolia[1] or henbane bell, is a poisonous plant belonging to the family Solanaceae, It has dark violet flowers on long hanging stems. It grows to 60 centimetres (24 in) in height. Its toxicity derives from its high levels of tropane alkaloids, particularly atropine. The quantity of atropine is the highest in the root.

Scopolia carniolica grows on wet soils in beech forests of southeastern Europe from lowlands to the mountainous zones. The rare form Scopolia carniolica f. hladnikiana (which differs from the common form in having a corolla that is greenish yellow,both inside and out) is native to Slovenia.

Scopolia carniolica was first described by the botanist Carl Linnaeus and named in honour of the physician Giovanni Antonio Scopoli as Hyoscyamus scopolia. Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin classified it to the genus Scopolia.

Scopolia carniolica is the symbol of the Slovene Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine. The plant is a source of scopolamine, which was used as an anesthetic in the past.