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Useful Wild Plants-10

Useful Wild Plants-10

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Published by: hassan_maatouk on Apr 01, 2010
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01/22/2013

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CHAPTER XIA CAUTIONARY CHAPTER ON CERTAIN
POISONOUS PLANTS
“Within the infant rind of this weak flowerPoison hath residence.”
T
HERE
is an old saying about mushrooms to
the effect that the way to test their edibility is
to eat a few; if you survive, they are a harmlesskind; if you die, they are poisonous. The same
cynic rule applies to wild plants in general, though
with much greater chance for survival than is af-
forded by the fungus group, since the number o
poisonous flowering plants growing wild in theUnited States is relatively small. Nevertheless
there are some of such common distribution that a
brief reference to a few of these that might deceive
the unwary seems desirable.
1
Perhaps the plant responsible for most fatalities
1
A useful monograph, adequately illustrated, entitled “ThirtyPoisonous Plants of the United States,” by V. K.
Chesnut,
wasissued a number of years ago by the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture,as Farmers’ Bulletin No.
86
I believe it is now out of print, butcopies may be found in public libraries.
236
 
CERTAIN POISONOUS PLANTS
is that common toadstool appropriately called
Death-
cup
(Amanita
 
 phalloides),
 
whose resemblance to the
edible
Agaric
or Field Mushroom
(Agaricus
 
cam-
 pestris)
 
causes it to be mistaken for the latter by the
e
DEATH
CUP
(Am anita
 
 phalloides)
ignorant. Any one who has not had practical instruc-
tion in differentiating edible fungi from poisonous,
would best leave the fungus order religiously alone.
Mushroom gathering is a business for experts.
237

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