Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hells Bells - dangers lurking in the garden

Poisonous Plants: Hellebore, Oleander and Vinca or Periwinkle

After seeing the little two year old put a Hellebore (Winter Rose) to her lips last week, and then rushing to stop her, I thought I'd better check if my memory was right about it being poisonous.  Yes indeed! After a short Google it seems like a bad idea even to spend too much time touching the stuff.
Read below:

"This summer I was myself poisoned by Hellebore sap - my fingers turned black, as though badly burned. Here's how it happened:

I picked the seed pods whilst the seeds were still green, and spent about twenty minutes squeezing the seeds out of the pods, so that my fingers were in constant contact with the sap. I began to feel a tingling pins-and-needles feeling in my fingers and thumbs and it got so bad that I felt dizzy and had to sit down and my hands felt partly paralyzed and burning. After a few more minutes I realized what had caused the problem and ran my hands under cold water to wash away the juice. My fingers turned very red, almost purple, and were throbbing.

After 24 hours they were, if anything, worse, and I went to the doctor, who said I had done the right thing washing off the poison; she prescribed an emollient cream to rub on, and I certainly needed that. Over the next few days the skin on my fingers and thumbs turned almost black and became so hard and chitinous that I could actually hear them scratching like a beetle when I tapped them on the table. They were very painful and burning"

petty spurgePetty Spurge

So I AM pleased there was no consumption of Hellebore! We also have oleander and periwinkle in our garden along with many other nasties - Wisteria seeds, rhubarb leaves, daffodils, bluebells, potato, bay tree berries, Ivy, Rhododendron, Lupins, Grevillea, Euphorbias, Cyclamens, Lantana, Hydrangea,Tradescantia, Fly Agaric Mushrooms, Petty Spurge (I know someone who went blind in one eye from the sap of this common weed).....more than I care to think about. The little one delights in eating the flowers of calendula, violets, peas and borage but thinks the rest of the garden might be fair game for eating as well.  We aren't going on a removing campaign but she is going to take some serious watching!

Good list of poisonous plants and their effects here

Natures Way Activated Charcoalwonder if I should have some of this at home just in case?

I got permission today to publish the lemon jumble biscuit recipe I cooked on Sunday so I have edited the old post if anyone is interested in making them. Good season for lemons.

1 comment:

  1. OMG I haven't really thought about it like that. So glad you and your little one are alright now. So scary.


In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Margaret Atwood

“She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
"Winter is dead.”
― A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young