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Poisonous Plants in GB

26 27 lords And lAdies Arum maculatum Family Araceae Synonyms Cuckoo pint, kings and queens, parson in the pulpit, wake Robin, starchwort, adders root, bobbins. Flowering in woods, gardens and hedge bottoms from March to May, the bisexual flower a striking upright spadix within a sheath or spathe is later transformed into a naked spike of orange berries. Sometimes found among wild garlica member of the authors family was poisoned by this herb as a child, and children should be taught how to recognise it. In Elizabethan times starch from the tuber was used to stiffen ruffs. Parson in the pulpit alludes to the spathe and spadix, and cuckoo pint from cuckolds pint refers to genitalia the small pintle or penis spadix appearing emasculated by the larger spathe. The spring cuckoo is a frequent metaphor for cuckolding, and kings and queens or lords and ladies perhaps celebrates the union of male and female bringing fertility to both land and community, as expressed through the revelry surrounding May kings and queens. Robin Goodfellow is the wandering nature spirit of Ben Jonsons Love Restored 1612, carrying broom and candles to sweep away the winters gloom. Awake Robin The acrid and poisonous root prepared in the Isle of Portland was sold as Portland Sago a popular food among labourers that imparted strength and stamina. It was rendered edible by baking, drying and powdering, similar to the processing of the related Taro of the South Pacific. Used to cure ringworm, it was also a drastic purge and treatment for dropsy. Ingestion causes swelling of the tongue and internal inflammation that can result in death after several days of convulsive illness. Homeopathically, Arum is used to treat hot inflammatory conditions of the throat.
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