Poisonous Plants   12 comments

AMERICAN YEW:          POISONOUS

Taxus canadensis:

A low, straggling evergreen shrub with flat, pointed needles up to 1 in. long in flat sprays.  Needles green on both sides.  Twigs smooth after needles removed.  Note the juicy, red berrylike fruit with a single hard seed.  Height 3 ft. (1)

The American Yew is a popular ornamental shrub.  Please remember, short shrub, short needles, and red berries, equal POISONOUS.

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BITTERSWEET NIGHTSHADE

Solanum dulcamara

 This trailing, weedy vine and it’s leaves, with 2 small lobes at the bottom, have medicinal applications.

HOWEVER, WARNING: the oval, green to red berries, grow in drooping clusters, are high in alkaloids and are therefore poisonous.

Flowers, from May through October, violet – purple backward curving petals with a yellow beak-like center anther.

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BUTTERCUP – Common or Tall:          POISONOUS

Ranunculus acris:

Buttercups bloom from May to August, the flowers have 5 – 7 overlapping, glossy, bright yellow petals.

The leaves have 5 – 7 deeply cut segments.

On 2-3 foot tall branching, hairy stalks.

From Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttercup

Toxicity:

“All Ranunculus species are poisonous when eaten fresh by cattle, horses, and other livestock, but their acrid taste and the blistering of the mouth caused by their poison means they are usually left uneaten. Poisoning can occur where buttercups are abundant in overgrazed fields where little other edible plant growth is left, and the animals eat them out of desperation. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, excessive salivation, colic, and severe blistering of the mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. When Ranunculus plants are handled, naturally occurring ranunculin is broken down to form protoanemonin, which is known to cause contact dermatitis in humans and care should therefore be exercised in excessive handling of the plants.[2] The toxins are degraded by drying, so hay containing dried buttercups is safe.” (2)

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POISON IVY

Rhus radicans

 

WARNING: DO NOT TOUCH :  REMEMBER – “LEAVES OF THREE, LET IT BE!”

Contact with Poison Ivy can cause extreme dermatitis.

Due to past experience, with a severe bout of poison ivy, I like to dose myself with Rhus Tox before I go out and then shower as soon as I get home.

 

A very tricky, trailing vine or stand-alone shrub!  And it likes to hide in plain sight.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked past, through or over poison ivy, and then realized, ‘awe, snit’!

 

From PETERSON FIELD GUIDES Edible Wild Plants (1):

“Leaflets highly variable; hairless or slightly hairy, glossy or dull, toothless or saw-toothed and variously lobed.”

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POSION SUMAC Rhus vernix

 

WARNING:  Do not touch Poison Sumac; Contact with any part of the plant may cause SEVERE DERMATITIS.

 

Leaf stems hold between 7 and 13 alternate compound, smooth, pointy, toothless leaflets.

 

All parts of the plant – leaf, bud, stem and twig, are hairless.  With small white berries, between August and Spring.

Bark is smooth and speckled.  Don’t pick those roses!

 

Poison Sumac bush or tree grows up to 20 ft.

 

 * Washing with soap and water, soon after contact, helps prevent dermatitis. *

Where found: Se. Minn., s. Ontario, sw Quebec, sw. Maine south to Texas and Fla.” (1)

WARNING:  Do not touch Poison Sumac; Contact with any part of the plant may cause SEVERE DERMATITIS.

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Just click on any photo to enlarge, for greater detail.

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REFERENCES:

(1) Lee Allen Petterson. PETERSON FIELD GUIDES Edible Wild Plants.

Houghton Mifflin. 1977

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buttercup

Posted March 17, 2011 by forageporage

12 responses to “Poisonous Plants

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  4. I am so thankful you spread the word about poisonous plants. Out here on ranch, we’re doing everything we can to learn about every plant to protect our animals and livestock. We have to cut out all Mesquite we find, because tractor and equipment tires are expensive to repair or replace! Proper forage is valuable in a feeding program. I’ll definitely hang out close to this site!

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  6. Do you snack on the yew berries, Linda? I spit the seed out, of course – but the flesh is very sweet and pleasant.

    • I did as a kid, until I bit into a seed. The taste was so acrid it made me immediately vomit! I’ve never been able to touch another one, since!

    • Marie,
      Did you notice the invitation in “Our Sunday Guest”? I enjoy your blog and hope you will consider taking me up on the invite; which reads:
      To thank you all for coming, and celebrate one year of forage blogging, I’m rolling out this new feature, to honor my fellow nature lovers and foragers; with a series featuring guest authors. Please consider writing a guest post. If you love nature and/or foraging please come share your experiences, wisdom and passion. Your words, your way, is best! Certainly photos are, also, welcome. A past post from your blog is, also, welcome, I ask only that the subject matter be related to foraging or nature; in some way. There is no deadline; as I would like to make this a regular feature. Please send submissions to forageporage@yahoo.com.

      Hope to see you here, soon!

      Much Love and Many Blessings,

      Inky Redbird

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