No Fox Given: Is This Plant In My Front Yard Trying To Kill Me?
My wife and I bought our current house about a year and a half ago, in the dead of winter. There were definitely some great photos of the yard in the real estate listing, but it certainly didn't paint a clear picture of what was growing around the property. And when summer did hit, it was a mad dash of trying to figure out what was what.
This summer, we had a bit of an idea, and had already done tons of yard cleanup after that stupid April storm that wrecked my trees. But there were a few surprises in our flower garden this year. It's full of day lillies, tulips, all that jazz. Or at least so I'm told. I don't really know much, I just throw mulch where my wife tells me to.
This one tall plant started popping up in the middle of everything, and we had no recollection of seeing it the year before. My wife has a cool app on her phone that helps you identify plants using your camera. Turns out this colorful little addition to our flower family was foxglove, or digitalis.
So naturally, being the curious type, I googled it immediately. I was curious if it was something that was planted or grew wild and just sort of showed up unannounced. When I was looking at the wiki for it, I saw all sorts of medicinal uses for it. Cool, right?Then as I scrolled more, of course, the word 'toxicity' had it's own category.
I don't worry too much about myself or my wife, but we have friends with small kids that come over, and a neighbor dog that we love right to bits that comes over to say hello sometimes. I started reading how it can cause all sorts of heart issues, nausea, vomiting, amdominal pain, etc.
Now, of course, I have a flair for the dramatic... hahaha... But in high accidental dosages, it is toxic enough to kill a person. So it's not a far stretch that a neighbor dog, or a little toddler could accidentally get too much in their system. No matter how it gets into your system, you won't enjoy the experience.
There's a similar looking plant called the comfrey plant, that is harmless, and can be made into a tea. There have been case of people who thought foxglove was comfrey, and you can imagine the disastrous results. Another solid reminder to know what you're putting in your body when it comes to wild plants.
But still, now I feel like there's a subtle murderer in my front yard. Of course, there's tons of poisonous plants in Maine. We may not have much for earthquakes, hurricanes, and venomous snakes and spiders, but we got all the plants. So be careful in the woods. And your front yard too.