April 13, 2003

Many Parts Aren't Edible

image copyright Fred First

Arisaema triphyllum: Jack-in-the-pulpit, or Indian Turnip

Fair is the canopy over him seen Pencilled by nature's hand, black, brown and green Green is his surplice, green are his bands, In his queer little pulpit the little priest stands (anon.)
Of course it's anonymous. If you'd written this verse, would you admit it?

This is my Georgia OKeefe rendition of a familiar and common wildflower. The patch where this one was photographed last year is just starting to show the tips of green leaves breaking through the rich soil of the meadow. By the middle of summer, the three parted leaves will be nearly a foot across.

The name "Indian Turnip" makes you think they might be edible. Not. The roots contain calcium oxalate crystals that imbed themselves in your mucous membranes (like the lining of the mouth) and sting like fire. Yes, I know this from first hand experience, and that's all I'll say about that.

Posted by fred1st at April 13, 2003 03:38 PM | TrackBack
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