Invaders and killers.
I should have spent more time sorting out this one; an interesting subject.
One of the big invaders (we're told), along our waterways, and rivers, is the Indian Balsam.
It comes in pink, red, white, and shades in between, and has as many names too amongst them, Himalayan Balsam, Policeman's Helmet, Poor man's Orchid, Nuns, Jumping Jacks, Stinky Pops and Bee-bums. It was introduced to the UK by a remarkable man, John Forbes Royle. Royle was born in India in 1799 but educated in Scotland, developing an interest in botany.
Another plant, from the same family, Balsaminaceae, is the Orange Balsam.
Like the Indian Balsam, this riverside plant is also a foreign import, but from North America. It occurs frequently along rivers and lake edges, but it is not as invasive as Indian Balsam. Because the ripe seed pods explode on contact it is also known as 'Touch-me-not'.
A Killer next? Well, Lord's and Ladies does have poisonous berries.
Arum maculatum is a common woodland plant species of the Araceae family. It is widespread across temperate northern Europe and is known by an abundance of common names including Wild arum, Devils and Angels, Cows and Bulls, Cuckoo-Pint, Adam and Eve, Bobbins, Naked Boys, Starch-Root and Wake Robin.
The berries contain oxalates of saponins which have needle-shaped crystals which irritate the skin, mouth, tongue, and throat, and result in swelling of throat, difficulty breathing, burning pain, and upset stomach.
A well known poisoner is the Foxglove.
Digitalis purpurea, or also known as, Dead Men's Bells, Fairy Fingers, Fairy Thimbles, Floppy Dock, and Throatwort.
Due to the presence of the cardiac glycoside digitoxin, the leaves, flowers and seeds of this plant are all poisonous to humans and some animals and can be fatal if eaten.
Enjoy the weekend, and be careful what you eat.