Photos Arne Ader
Bittersweet Harilik maavits Solanum dulcamara
Bitteraweet is quite common in Estonia. The perennial semi-shrub grows in sparse forests and humid thickets but also at the banks of water bodies. The leaves are heart-shaped, with a sharp tip. The plant climbs skilfully on wire fences.
In open habitats the fruits are coloured, hanging shiny and beautiful at the tips of the fruit-bearing stems and seem translucent seen against the light.
All parts of the plant are weakly toxic; eating the fruits may cause vomiting, but in any kind of poisoning vomiting is only beneficial: so the body gets rid of ingested poison.
The shoots of bittersweet growing at seashores are hairy, the leaves hairy on both sides, leathery and thick compared to the bittersweet growing on the mainland.
From a botanical point of view the bittersweet growing on seashores is the hairy bittersweet /Solanum littorale/. The species and subspecies matter however is not quite resolved yet