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I am at present helping my son with his gardening business in Dorset.

There are a lot of gardens here with stands of this very toxic plant Monks Hood.

The owners of these gardens do not seem to know of the dangers to others that this plant has.

Do you think that there should be more published and spoken about these plants, so that the general gardening public can decide whether to keep it or not?



  • Information is helpful - especially in garden centres, but many people inherit plants like these when they move.  One answer is to teach children from a very early age never to eat anything unless they are certain it is safe - ask first.  My generation grew up knowing not to swallow laburnum seeds. or eat the berries off bushes they were not already familiar with.

    If you visit the poison garden at Alnwick Castle, which is surrounded by high walls and locked, you discover that you are actually growing the majority of plants in there in your own garden.  Education is the key - not just to what is poisonous to eat, but plants that cause skin allergies too.  Forearmed is forewarned.

  • cathy43cathy43 Posts: 373

    I have a nephew with special needs,when starting my garden from scratch 10years ago before i bought any plant i checked it for any toxicity on the rhs website, it was invaluable to me, to ensure my garden was safe for him to enjoy.  Glad to say he loves being out in my garden and doesnt need to be restrictedimage plant labels should carry this sort of info because it meant I couldn't just pick a plant from a garden centre.  I had a few surprises with plants I grew up with like lupins!

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,797

    I'm all for caution, but not for paranoia.

    As Verdun says, Rhubarb leaves are highly poisonous, daffodil bulbs , privet , yew , the list goes on and on and on.

    Can I just ask is there a single documented death which has been directly attributed to Aconitum?

    Let's ban tobacco and alcohol and knives and scissors and all power tools: all cause many deaths and injuries every year.


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,247

    Hostafan, how far back are we allowed to go?

    Aconite was known as a poison in Ancient Greece. It was believed that it was derived from the foam on the mouth of the dog Cerberus.

    I've known a few people in my time whose breathe could kill at 20 paces.image

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,797

    my point is , how many people actually die from aconitum?

    I know it's possible, but does it ever actually happen?

    I'd bet more folk die falling off ladders than from all garden plants put together.


  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,797

    tarantula venom is strong enough to kill a human, everyone knows that , but there's not been one single documented death from it.

  • Katherine WKatherine W Posts: 410

    Should we also start panicking about foxgloves, oleanders, daturas, yew, nicotianas and, gasp, opium poppies! not to mention a million others, or can we grow those in peace?

    Many plants we take for granted in the garden are poisonous, and many plants that are considered noxious weeds are actually harmless and even edible. 

    Educate yourself and your children, by all means, but if someone were to pop up in my garden out of the blue, warning me about dire poisonous plants i am irresponsibly growing I'd be tempted to become touchy, sarcastic even.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 23,797

    KW, I'd just ask them to leave  and never to return if they were so frightened image

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