When I was younger, we used to play Hide and Seek in the woods and after I learned that I was immune to Poison Ivy, that was where I would hide put. It is a low growing plant, being only about 12 inches high, so I had to lay down in the patches that were growing. I guess it is not surprising that nobody ever came looking for me, when I was hiding there. Poison Ivy is technically not a poisonous plant, but it does cause skin reactions to many people who come in contact with it. The poisonous part of Poison Ivy is actually an oil found inside the plant, that makes its leaves very shiny. Sometimes I would get bored laying on the ground in the patch of Poison Ivy, because I could hear all the other kids yelling and screaming and having fun and then I would get up and leave and try to find another hiding spot.
One day I saw this older man walking in the woods, which was strange, as usually only kids went in the woods, but he was walking his dog. He told me that I should be more careful because those plants that were nearby were poisonous. I told him that I was OK, because I was immune to Poison Ivy and that it would not give me a rash. He said that he wasn’t referring to the Poison Ivy, that he meant those Hibiscus plants that I was standing next to. He said that every part of the angel trumpet is highly poisonous, including the leaves, flowers, seeds and roots. That they all contained toxic alkaloids, which could be deadly poisonous. I told him that I thought they looked pretty and I was thinking about taking some of them home for my mother. He warned me against doing that, saying if I touched them that residue could enter my blood stream or gastrointestinal tract, or it could get in my eyes or even some food that I might eat, which would lead to symptoms that include muscle weakness, dilated pupils and dry mouth, as well as a rapid pulse, fever and hallucinations. He said that there was also a chance for me to become paralyzed or go into convulsions, which might cause me to go into a coma or cause my death. I ran away and warned all of my friends about the deadly poisonous plants.
Written for KL Caley’s Thursday Write Photo – Poisonous Plants – Image by KL Caley.