The Poisons Collection: The Welsh Wonder

The poisons collection is being added to once again with the beautiful Narcissus. The great thing about this plant is I can almost guarantee you’ve heard about it before. That’s because Narcissus is actually the humble Daffodil. This genus has many species of varying toxicity and most of the poisoning occurs by accident with the bulbs being mistaken for other things.

Close-up of a daffodil flowerDaffodils are the national flower of Wales and are strongly associated with St David’s Day (Museum of Wales, 2015). They can be found all over the European countryside and are synonymous with spring time as there bright yellow flowers bloom in the spring. They can be found in woodlands, grasslands and park lands (BBC Nature, 2014).

In terms of how well they could kill you, well all parts of the plant are toxic and the bulbs can be mistaken for that of an onion. Eating half a bulb could give you a bit of tummy upset but nothing worth going to the hospital for. The plant contains two of those toxic alkaloids (Robertson, 2014).

Due to how common the plant is there are loads of examples of people being poisoned by daffodils. While I was studying this plant for another assignment at uni in my local paper there was a story about a Chinese supermarket stocking daffodils and people mistaking them for other foods. A total of 10 people had to be treated in hospital.

To conclude these are beautiful flowers and you’ll be fine to have them in your house come the spring time. On the other hand if you fancy a snack just go and grab a packet of crisps instead.

References

BBC Nature. (2014). Daffodil. Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Narcissus_pseudonarcissus. Last accessed 02/12/2015.

Museum of Wales. (2015). St Davids Day. Available: http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/275/. Last accessed 02/12/2015.

Robertson, J.. (2014). Narcissus spp.. Available: http://www.thepoisongarden.co.uk/atoz/narcissus.htm. Last accessed 02/12/2015.

ThatBiologist Everywhere!

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