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Pontifications on Poison

Being some ramblings on events associated with poisonous plants.

Saturday 20th August 2011

Finally, a day with rather better weather, though still quite a breeze. I wasn't minded to get out in the garden and do any real work but I did have a walk around, camera in hand, to see if I could find any evidence that the plants were going to complete their normal life cycles before the autumn comes.

After yesterday's rather wordy commentary on the ludicrous arguments put forward for homeopathy, today I thought I'd do a photoblog showing some of plants in my own garden and how they look, today.

To start with, the Nicotiana sylvestris is, finally, starting to bloom though the plants haven't grown to the height I would normally expect. Here's one that has good buds ready to bloom.

Nicotiana sylvestris, tobacco

And one where the flowers are starting to appear.

Nicotiana sylvestris, tobacco

I've spoken about the Doctrine of Signatures before and we now know that its principles are completely false, but I can't help noticing that the flower of the tobacco plant looks very much like the cigarettes that get made from the leaves. Here's another view of the plant above.

Nicotiana sylvestris, tobacco

Elsewhere, the Artemisia absinthium, wormwood, is flowering and beginning to set seed.

Artemisia absinthium, wormwood

The berries of the Solanum dulcamara, woody nightshade, are beginning to ripen though there isn't, yet, a full bunch.

Solanum dulcamara, woody nightshade


Solanum dulcamara, woody nightshade

The clump of Arum maculatum, cuckoopint, in the front garden is well-hidden under a Spirea hedge so it's hard to get a good picture of the berries.

Arum maculatum, cuckoopint

But I can't get a picture of the clump in the more accessible place in the back garden because something has had all the berries.

Arum maculatum, cuckoopint

And, of course, a few days of rain in August, as well as stopping me getting into the garden, is the ideal conditions for Urtica dioica, stinging nettle, to thrive.

Urtica dioica, stinging nettle