Friday, May 19, 2006

the bad news about leafy spurge

This patch of green beauties appears on one of our walks every year about this time. I have always liked these exotic-looking flowers for their color, fragrance (from a distance), curious shape and the impact of a whole plot of them. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

But a close inspection of my field guide plus a little internet legwork tells me these plants are actually noxious weeds. They can even be dangerous to one’s health. Apparently the sap (latex), from all parts of the plant has malicious properties.

This latex can produce blisters and dermatitis in humans, cattle, and horses and may cause permanent blindness if rubbed into the eye. Protection is needed when handling leafy spurge. (More about leafy spurge)

*Sigh* I guess it's a good thing I always resisted picking any. Sometimes I prefer ignorance to the facts.


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