So easily done…
Does it look like a proper vegetable, or did they eat it just because they found it? I don’t think I’d do that … but then, I’m not even sure I’d trust a pharmacist to ID any mushrooms I found
All parts of oleander are poisonous and that is grown everywhere. Take care.
Datura is all over our surrounding fields after the crops have been harvested. I haven’t read the article, but it is known as a psychoactive drug and has been used as such for centuries by many shamanic societies. Was it an accident? Or were they (misguidedly) experimenting? It’s hard to take the seeds “by accident”.
Seems they thought it was a variety of “summer spinach” since it appeared in the same plot where, last year, they had sowed seeds for such a crop…
Rubbish! The leaves are nothing like - they are spiky and spiny. I don’t buy that one.
Oleander is in the apocynace family, the dogbanes, and datura is in solonaceae family (potato, and deadly nightshade). Different plants entirely and yes both very toxic but don’t usually find oleander in the wild whereas Datura grows wild all over the world.
Lots of lovely legends associated with it, sleeping beneath it stimulates wild dreams, and lots of interesting history as a drug. Not to be recommended tho’!
I find it hard to believe anyone could confuse it with spinach. The wild datura has as Sue says a much more serrated edge, and the garden varieties are big and floppy.
That locally growing wild datura has fruit which looks like a spiky chayote lookalike and positively screams poisonousness and dodginess, however some people are, um, adventurous (or cretinous) and will eat anything. Datura stramonium, I don’t really believe they weren’t experimenting. Or else, as I said, monumentally stupid - in which case they should have had more and done everyone a favour.
A family of four though - didn’t have time to read more than the first paragraph or two, were kids involved?
you can get just as ill when eating the top growing fruit of potatoes… they look a little like cherry tomatoes.
So many of those solanaceous plants have natty little mini tomato type fruit, deadly nightshade looks very tempting… think of the lovely salad you could make, perhaps with some snipped chervil OOOPS it was hemlock
Potatoes are borderline toxic anyway1.
Might be urban legend but I recall a story about a crisp manufacturer breeding spuds to find the perfect one for making crisps - they succeeded, insofar as they produced a variety which made perfect looking crisps - they just made people ill when they ate them.
1] actually a surprising amount of stuff considered “safe” is toxic if eaten in too great a quantity or without correct preparation. Nutmeg, for instance, is hallucinogenic.
The self sufficiency idea and foraging for wild foods have a lot of victims.
I did a few mushroon identifier courses as well as foraging with a survivalist.
That taught me to stick to mainly shop bought vegetables etc. Unless I can 100% identify what goes in the pot - it doesn’t.
And it is not just plants - you also have to be aware of
Liverfluke from fox pee liberally sprayed on lovely wild garlic…
A couple who were alcohol dependant made a huge effort recently to stop drinking. Great. Except that they replaced alcohol with liquorice drinks, and managed to overdose and ended up in A&E with liver toxicity…
Foxes spread echinococcose through faeces and urine (truly foul disease, stops me ever eating low hanging fruit!) Liver flukes in France are I think mainly sheep ones.
I am lucky I read the article. It turns out we had a datura plant growing in our garden. Our dogs will usually have a munch on most things so I am glad I spotted it and got rid of it!
I bought two very attractive garden plants from our local supermarket, labelled as “Red Laurel.” Doing a bit of research as to where they would go in my garden, found the answer was…nowhere! I had, in fact, bought two oleanders, all parts highly toxic, irritant to touch, cannot be composted! You can’t even burn them as the smoke is toxic! I checked the plant label which had lots of planting info but failed to mention the (to me) vital info that it was highly poisonous. In the store, it had been displayed, on a low plinth, alongside a fairly harmless hedging plan; I always thought the French loved their children…
PS Apparently Oleander is planted along motorway verges, where it thrives!
This must be a case of city family’s coming to the country side
Oleanders are everywhere.
we have them in our courtyard, but we always warn people that they are highly toxic and even our grandsons get the point.
Do you want two more???
It is somehow surprising humanity survived this long. Poisonous plants everywhere, and if its not the plant life its snakes, bugs and spiders.
Perhaps we should all take a deep breath and get a perspective on numbers killed by poisonous plants etc… Percentages are probably minuscule compared to falling off a ladder, slipping in the shower/bath or car accidents.