P1020514 (2)Very tempting; but include these sumptuous berries as one of your “five a day” at your peril.  The fruit of Arum italicum, Lords and Ladies, contain needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalates which as you might imagine are not good for the constitution, causing severe discomfort from throat to lungs to stomach.  Their taste is so acrid that they are seldom eaten in quantity, which is just as well as if enough are consumed it can lead to heart failure.  Let us not forget that we are not the only consumers in the restaurant, it may be our poison but it is food for others.  The plant’s utmost desire is to spread its seed and in exchange for providing food for the birds, they will happily do this job for them.  It should be sufficient for us that this is a feast for the eye, a flaming torch set against cool verdant ferns.


8 thoughts on “Temptation

      • Everything is welcomed :), especially plants that I don’t have here…I like the Lords and Ladies, have a marmorated one but I don’t see the leaves showing up, probably I killed when transplanting in the spring.


  1. Funny how the birds can eat these berries, but we can’t. Our cat Wolfie, now 5 months, is chasing the little lizards in our garden with great success. These are Northern Alligator Lizards and they aren’t poisonous–I looked it up right away. Apparently, salamanders are poisonous, but lizards aren’t. I’ve tried to save a few of the poor creatures, but it’s a losing battle.


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