Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The economic importance of Atropa Belladonna has long been recognized because of the valuable alkaloids which it contains. Belladonna belongs to the Solanaceae or Nightshade family, which is composed of about 1500 species, many of these also being of economic importance. At the academy of Agriculture in Klansenburg since 1916, two constant deviations from the normal variety of Atropa Belladonna L. have been grown. They are Atropa Belladonna var. flava and Atropa Belladonna var. intermediata. The alkaloidal content is higher than that of the normal variety. Belladonna, grown in other parts of the country, undoubtedly has been thoroughly studied in many of the phases which will be presented here. The morphology, cultural development and assay have all received considerable mention in present and past literature. As far as the writer knows the cultural development and study of the alkaloidal content of Belladonna grown in South Dakota has never been attempted. The reasons for taking up this work were to determine the alkaloidal content of Belladonna grown in South Dakota and the difference in the alkaloidal content of plants grown under varying conditions; as well as the development of the plant itself. Its leaves and roots, both of which contain alkaloids. Then, too, the method of extraction of the alkaloids was not considered as accurate as it should be, and with this though in mind various alkaloidal solvents and methods were tried. One of the chief difficulties in the extraction of the alkaloids and in the obtaining of them in a pure condition is the chlorophyll which is always present in the leaves. Several methods for the elimination of this impurity were also attempted. To make this work more complete and to bring out the structural characteristics of Belladonna more in detail a number of photographs and micro-photographs were taken. The technique of taking micro-photographs as well as the developing and printing of the plates found in this thesis required considerable time to work out. The Atropa Belladonna experimented with was grown in the Medicinal and Poisonous Plant Garden of the Division of Pharmacy, South Dakota State College.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Belladonna (Plant)




South Dakota State University