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Pontifications on Poison

Being some ramblings on events associated with poisonous plants.

Thursday 29th September 2011

This should really be dated Wednesday 28ath September or headed 'Plants in a Public Park Part 2' because, as you'll know if you read yesterday's blog, when I decided to see if I could find six poisonous plant genera in our nearest municipal park I ended up with eleven and a fungus in no time at all.

So, I decided to split the pictures I took over two days and this is the second day.

I said I'd seen eleven genera because I saw more than one species in some cases. With the Ilex, holly, there were three very different plants.

        Ilex, holly        Ilex, holly

        Ilex, holly       Ilex, holly 

Different species of Ilex, holly

Any public park, these days, has to be forgiven if it cannot achieve a completely manicured look so I don't have a problem with seeing Urtica dioica, stinging nettles and, as the folklore states, you always find Rumex obtusifolius, dock, close by to provide the antidote.

        Urtica dioica, stinging nettle        Urtica dioica, stinging nettle and Rumex obtusifolius, dock

              Urtica dioica, stinging nettle and Rumex obtusifolius, dock

I shouldn't claim that this fungus is poisonous because I'm not skilled enough to truly identify it. But I've included it because for most people in Britain an unidentified fungus is assumed to be poisonous. This was growing in a patch of grass.

        Unidentified fungus        Unidentified fungus

And, finally, two plants that I think I've correctly identified after looking through my files and books. I can't get any closer than the genera however.

        Juniperus, juniper, species unknown        salix alba, white willow, probably

          Juniperus, juniper, species unknown                     Salix alba, white willow, probably

It just goes to show that there are plenty of poisonous plants all around us all the time and very, very few people ever get harmed by them. It makes the reaction to finding Aconitum napellus in a park in Cumbria ridiculous.