by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Jun 2024      ()
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Hyoscyamus albus   (White Henbane)

Hyoscyamus albus  (SOLANACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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General Information Species Images
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Detailed species profile
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Profile Date May-2005 (taxon update: May-2005)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Hyoscyamus albus - datasheet created on May-2005. Retrieved from on 24-Jun-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Hyoscyamus albusL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 180 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Hyoscyamus minor Mill.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Solanaceae Juss. (The Potato Family)
17 species from the Solanaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

White Henbane, Russian Henbane

Maltese name(s) :

Mammażejża, Bang

Status for Malta :

Indigenous. Present on the Maltese islands before man

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

April – May

Colour of Flowers:



Mildy toxic, can cause adverse conditions if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :

Hyoscyamus: Hyos- meaning a pig, and -kyamos meaning a bean, alluding that it was fedto pigs, but the name is likely a derogatory reference, as some plants of this genus are poisonous to livestock and humans (e.g. Hyoscyamus nigra);. (Greek origin )
albus: Having a white colour. (Latin origin ); 2 = Despite the epithet albus (white), the flower is cream-coloured, but compared to the well-known dark-flowered H. nigra, this species is relatively white! ( origin );

Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Data will be available in the next update of this website.
Preferred habitat in Malta: Waste ground, streets, caves, stone piles, besides limestone walls, quarries, bastions, old farmhouses especially near the coast.
Botanical Description: Viscid annual, biennial or perennial; stem 30-90 cm, woody below when perennial, erect, branched, densely glandular-villous, the hairs patent. Leaves 4-10 x 3-8 cm, orbicular-ovate, obtuse, cuneate to cordate at base, incise-dentate with wide rounded teeth, sparsely glandular villous; petiole 2.5-5(-12) cm. Flowers sessile, except the lowest, in dense unilateral spikes; bracts leaf-like. Calyx 1-1.5 cm, densely glandular-villous; teeth c. 3 mm, broadly triangular; fruiting calyx 2-2.5 cm, ventricose below, hypocrateriform above, with short, triangular, pungent teeth. Corolla 3 cm, tubular-campanulate, somewhat zygomorphic, glandular-villous outside, usually yellowish-white, the throat greenish or purplish. Stamens included to slightly exserted.
Chromosome number: 2n=68
Distributional range: S. Europe.

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Romania, Russia and former USSR, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
AE(G) Ag Al Az Bl Bu Ca(C) dCa(F G H L P T) Co Cr Ct Cy Eg Ga(F) Gr Hs(S) Ir It Jo Li LS Lu Ma Md(D M P) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sl Sn Sr Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K) [nAz(F G L M P S T) aBe Mo dSk]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (61 images)
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-0.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-1.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-2.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-3.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-4.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-5.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-6.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-7.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-8.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-9.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-10.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-11.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-12.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-13.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-14.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-15.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-16.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-17.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-18.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-19.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-20.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-21.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-22.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-23.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-24.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-25.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-26.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-27.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-28.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-29.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-30.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-31.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-32.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-33.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-34.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-35.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-36.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-37.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-38.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-39.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-40.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-41.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-42.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-43.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-44.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-45.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-46.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-47.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-48.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-49.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-50.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-51.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-52.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-53.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-54.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-55.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-56.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-57.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-58.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-59.
   Hyoscyamus albus   -   Image Code: HYOAL-60.

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Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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