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Old 18-04-2004, 04:07 AM
Rodger Whitlock
 
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Default Poisonous plants

On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 10:16:14 +0100, Charlie Pridham wrote:

I was just having a bit of a general grump about having to put toxicity
warnings on all plants when there are so many ways a plant can harm you,
that you are in danger of having a booklet sized label for them.


IMHO, there's a real downside to overdoing the "poisonous plant"
schtick as some of the earth-mother crowd are wont. Namely, by
running around claiming that nearly every garden plant is
"poisonous", you obscure the fact that some plants present
genuine, serious hazards not to be sneezed at.

Aconitum napellus, the common monkshood, is very poisonous, in
the true sense of the word: it won't just give you a tummy ache
if you ingest it: it can easily kill you. As long as you grow it
in the perennial border, it probably doesn't present a real
threat, but you don't want to grow it anywhere near a patch of
Jerusalem artichokes because the roots of the two look too much
alike.

There are other Aconitum species that are even more poisonous,
Aconitum ferox being so much so that knowledgable sorts won't
even consider having it in their gardens. (Some of the fiercer
natives of Myanmar and adjacent parts traditionally used it to
poison their arrows.)

If a booklet of "poisonous plants" runs into dozens or hundreds
of common garden denizens, the genuine hazard presented by
aconitum, among others, may be obscured by the presence of
irrelevancies.


--
Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
[change "atlantic" to "pacific" and
"invalid" to "net" to reply by email]

  #48   Report Post  
Old 18-04-2004, 05:14 AM
Rodger Whitlock
 
Posts: n/a
Default Poisonous plants

On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 10:16:14 +0100, Charlie Pridham wrote:

I was just having a bit of a general grump about having to put toxicity
warnings on all plants when there are so many ways a plant can harm you,
that you are in danger of having a booklet sized label for them.


IMHO, there's a real downside to overdoing the "poisonous plant"
schtick as some of the earth-mother crowd are wont. Namely, by
running around claiming that nearly every garden plant is
"poisonous", you obscure the fact that some plants present
genuine, serious hazards not to be sneezed at.

Aconitum napellus, the common monkshood, is very poisonous, in
the true sense of the word: it won't just give you a tummy ache
if you ingest it: it can easily kill you. As long as you grow it
in the perennial border, it probably doesn't present a real
threat, but you don't want to grow it anywhere near a patch of
Jerusalem artichokes because the roots of the two look too much
alike.

There are other Aconitum species that are even more poisonous,
Aconitum ferox being so much so that knowledgable sorts won't
even consider having it in their gardens. (Some of the fiercer
natives of Myanmar and adjacent parts traditionally used it to
poison their arrows.)

If a booklet of "poisonous plants" runs into dozens or hundreds
of common garden denizens, the genuine hazard presented by
aconitum, among others, may be obscured by the presence of
irrelevancies.


--
Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
[change "atlantic" to "pacific" and
"invalid" to "net" to reply by email]
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