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Corn cockle

I don't know if anyone can offer any advice on this please.  I have recently planted various packets of wild flower/meadow mix seeds in my garden, trying to do my bit for nature, and all.  I made a list of all seeds which may be included, from the packets and have been checking on the internet to find information about those I don't know, ie annual or perennial, colour, height etc. 

I was perturbed to find that one listed is corn cockle and some information I saw on the internet is that it is supposedly very rare and very poisonous.  Is anyone able to confirm if this is the case or if there are varieties which are in fact harmless.  I find it hard to believe that reputable seed companies would include something in wildlife/wild meadow mixes that was potentially harmful, not to mention rare. Details on the pack do say "any of the following may be included, depending on availability", or words to that effect.  There may be quite a few listed that I am searching for that won't even be in the pack but to see the above was a bit disconcerting.  Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks.


Kind regards



S J McPherson


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  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,207

    It's "rare" in the wild because farming practises changed and the poor old Common Corncockle lost its habitat. It is still the Common Corncockle in packets of seed though.

    Poisonous? Well, if you could force yourself to eat a lot of its bitter seeds I suppose you could do yourself in. But you might be quicker having a munch on a daffodil or a buttercup or any other flower in the garden, more or less.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Thanks, yes, I've just been reading someone else's concerns re poisonous plants, but generally, I don't have a problem.  However, to see a couple of articles, and a photo of a ranger at the Sunderland lighthouse where said rare plant was found, implying first one seen in goodness knows how long, I thought it must be rather more severe than your bog-standard "just don't eat the thing".  But I should probably be old enough to know by now you shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspaper!  I'm still rather surprised, though, that if something is so rare, it is included in packets of common wild flower mix, but as you have said, if it is the "common" corn cockle, that would explain that too.  Thanks everyone image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,852

    I think if you check out the lists of poisonous plants you'll find most of the garden contents are in there. image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,852


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