This plant is as invasive as poison ivy. However, instead of a rash, it is poisonous if ingested (leaves, flowers and berries).
I have seen it in a number of locations around town, and suggest that you rip it out if you see it. The ripe berries look all too tempting to small kids.
It's an interesting plant. I haven't seen it on my property but I've heard the name which is quite lovely.
I have young children, I teach them not to eat unknown fruits, berries, mushrooms, etc, found growing outside. It is easier than trying to baby proof the world.
I love the plant, but yeah, deadly. I don't have any growing on my property, anymore...
New Jersey also hemlock (looks very similar to wild edible carrots, is almost always fatal, and gives you an extremely painful death to boot), water hemlock (also looks very similar to wild edible carrots), poke (lots of dark juicy looking berries that will give you bloody vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and dangerously low blood pressure), Lily of the valley (another plant with tempting berries), foxglove, jimsonweed, jack in the pulpit (this one has berries too), horse chestnuts (NJ has both edible chestnuts and inedible horse chestnuts) and a few mushrooms that can make you sick, I'm more for educating young children to not eat plants rather than trying to eradicate anything potentially toxic or poisonous. I'm sure there are many other plants that can make you sick other than the ones I listed, as my knowledge of poisonous plants is very limited. Basically, unless you KNOW it is safe, don't eat it. Trying to eradicate poisonous plants will give you a false sense of security.
Oh, and I'm told we also have deadly nightshade in NJ, which is much more poisonous than bittersweet nightshade. Ten berries can kill an adult.
I haven't seen any studies on this but I believe it is possible to educate your kids AND pull up potentially life threatening weeds. Again, I don't have studies to back this up, I am just making an educated guess.
Klinker said:I haven't seen any studies on this but I believe it is possible to educate your kids AND pull up potentially life threatening weeds. Again, I don't have studies to back this up, I am just making an educated guess.
So you consider belladonna, jack in the pulpit, and lily of the valley to be weeds? If my neighbor mail orders Belladonna, which is perfectly legal, and plants it in her front yard, should I tell her to pull it up because I consider it a weed? I have a flower bed in my front yard full of lily of the valley. I've also seen jimson weed in flower beds, obviously put there on purpose as one in particular I pass in South Orange is very well tended and has been there for over a decade.
(the real deal, not the bittersweet one which isn't as deadly)
You can also legally buy many of the other toxic plants, including bittersweet nightshade. Calling them weeds just because you don't like it doesn't mean that everyone will consider it a weed.
Personally, I've had bittersweet nightshade in my back yard for years, though I didn't plant it. It was an area where it was tough to grow anything, so when this plant came along and showed up I was more than happy to leave it be and not look at my neighbor's ugly fence any longer. And the little purplish blue flowers are very delicate looking which gives that part of the yard a very romantic feel. I have three kids, and have had no issues with them eating the berries.
I'm also not about to pull up and throw away all of my lily of the valley from my front yard just to keep you happy.
Oh, and I also have a potted ZZ plant in my kitchen, amazingly we have not had to have anyone's stomach pumped yet. I think back to kindergarten when my teacher had a pothos that trailed across all the windows in our classroom, it's amazing that none of us died since they are also toxic to people.
There's a limit to how much we can babyproof the world, I'll agree. Lots of deadly and less than deadly but still miserable to eat plants out there.
I've seen some destroying angel growing in NJ this year. it's a particular bastard due to its near identical appearance to edible mushrooms in Asia- immigrant residents see it and think it's a familiar friend to one they ate back home, though it's completely unrelated. Surprised me to see it in 2 far-flung NJ locations. My instinct is to flatten it if there is an off chance a person or pet could munch it up.
Bella Donna? (Also known as foxglove.) This stuff nearly killed me as a 10 year old. The old fashioned optometrist gave me two drops of this in my eyes to dilate my pupils, and I passed out, waking up several some hours later. Skip the nasty details, it is not innocuous. To me it is deadly. Translated, the name is pretty lady, but for me it is poison. Maybe you are able to eat it, but for me I don't want ever to be anywhere close to it FOREVER.
I suppose if you enjoy having a poisonous garden, that is your prerogative. My message was more for folks like me who get this stuff growing all over because birds eat the berries and crap out the seeds. Plants growing in my garden that I didn't plant are, indeed, weeds. Poisonous plants growing amongst the blackberries get pulled.
That said, if you want to come over and roll around in my poison ivy bed, you are welcome any time
We got a puppy in February. He want to eat everything outside. It has been a constant struggle every season. Now the new challenge is all the late summer / fall berries.
mrmaplewood said:Bella Donna? (Also known as foxglove.) This stuff nearly killed me as a 10 year old. The old fashioned optometrist gave me two drops of this in my eyes to dilate my pupils, and I passed out, waking up several some hours later. Skip the nasty details, it is not innocuous. To me it is deadly. Translated, the name is pretty lady, but for me it is poison. Maybe you are able to eat it, but for me I don't want ever to be anywhere close to it FOREVER.
Bella Donna is/was used to dilate pupils. Bella Donna is Deadly Nightshade; it is not Foxglove. Foxglove is Digitalis. Digitalis is used in heart medication but digitalis is also poisonous.
Total thread drift but if you want to see these and more herbs in person, go visit the herb garden behind The Durand-Hedden House at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood (diagonally across from Jefferson School). There are plant markers in the beds indicating the plant names and their culinary, commercial, and/or medicinal uses. Smells good too.
Klinker said:I suppose if you enjoy having a poisonous garden, that is your prerogative. My message was more for folks like me who get this stuff growing all over because birds eat the berries and crap out the seeds. Plants growing in my garden that I didn't plant are, indeed, weeds. Poisonous plants growing amongst the blackberries get pulled.That said, if you want to come over and roll around in my poison ivy bed, you are welcome any time
Actually she doesn't particularly enjoy poisonous gardens. She's more concerned that her children know not to eat ANYTHING unidentified in the outdoors on the outside chance that that every single poisonous plant this side of the Rockies has not been destroyed yet...
As to rolling in your bed of poison ivy, sorry - she's among that rare 10% of people not allergic (sensitive to?) the plant...
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