Friday’s Post: Poison

Not all plants are friendly. Here are two poisonous in all their parts. The first you’ve probably heard of since it brought Socrates to his end. The other … not so commonly known.

Hemlock. Lethal. 17 June 2019

Usually marked with random purple blotches, the stalk here is exceptionally bright, veers more to red, and barely shows any green. It grows to around 6′.

White Bryony 17th June 2019

A member of the cucumber family, those little white flowers produce bright red berries in late summer/early autumn. And as you can see by the tendrils, it”s a climber; it scrambles around and over everything.












About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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27 Responses to Friday’s Post: Poison

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    There is a story in here somewhere.. love pretty poisons…..

    Liked by 2 people

    • crimsonprose says:

      They’re very tempting. If you don’t know what they are. I can remember some news item about a lad who was rushed to hospital. He’d made a peashooter from a hemlock stem. Lips around it …. Thing is, there are so many similiar plants in that family, and most are not poisonous. Indeed, parsley, watercress, dill, fennel, carrot … just the ones that come to mind. As to bryony, there’s a black and a white. In late summer their berries hang across the hedges like early Christmas trimmings.


  2. EntangledDesigns says:

    Awesome! There are so beautiful despite their deadly nature. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. EntangledDesigns says:

    Sorry…my autocorrect has been working against me for a while now! *”they are….”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale says:

    I admire those of you who know your plants… I am beyond clueless…
    They are lovely, though, aren’t they? Perfect to catch unsuspecting innocents…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s some very pretty poison! πŸ˜€ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ramyani Bhattacharya says:

    I have heard about hemlock, it’s a poison. But one can’t really distinguish between the poisonous and the edible. They are looking more normal than ever, or that is the trick πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      The way I see it, while an insect or such would be dead before its poison discouraged its attacker, a plant would merely be torn and shredded. Therefore the insect needs to advertise loudly: Do No Touch Me. While a plant can be more laid back about it.


  7. I’d heard that the berries of the white bryony are poisonous but I hadn’t realised the whole plant was toxic. That is a very red stem on the hemlock. I’m no good at all at identifying plants with umbels of small white flowers – they all look the same to me and I can never remember the differences in the leaves… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      White bryony:
      I think you’ll find it the Black Bryony that isn’t quite so lethal. It’s roots are used as a purgative.
      And I did have photos that showed a more normal purple-blotched stem (very distinctive), but the shots were crap.
      As to identifying all the hundreds in that umbel-family … no way. I can probably count on one and a bit hands those I can name. But I do know there’s more than the hemlock that’s poisonous. There’s a waterside plant, often mistaken for watercress, with tragic results.


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