by Katharine S. White

The year 1967 started with an all-out alert on the danger of poisonous plants. On January 6th, the Times published a story about a lecture on the subject by John M. Kingsbury, the author of a useful small book titled Deadly Harvest: A Guide to Common Poisonous Plants.

At a very early age, I remember, I was to recognize what plants are to be avoided completely. At a very early age, I remember, I was taught how to recognize and stay away from deadly nightshade, poison ivy, and poison sumac. (I was, just as early, taught the delights of chewing tender young checkerberry leaves and sassafras root.)

To me, it would be ridiculous, though, not to grow monkshood, foxglove, hellebore, larkspur, autumn crocus, poppies, lilies of the valley, buttercups, and many other flowers now present in my borders just because they have some poison in them.
— Katharine S. White, gardener and garden writer, Onward and Upward in the Garden
 


As featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

Words inspired by the garden are the sweetest, most beautiful words of all.
Katharine White on Poisonous Plants
Katharine White on Poisonous Plants

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