Friday, December 11, 2009

Oh No…The Dreadful Bouquet

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the things I am doing this winter is catching up on my reading. I am about 3/4 of the way through Amy Stewart’s Wicked Plants. Its a great read for a busy time because you can read it in little bits. Each Wicked Plant has a couple pages dedicated to it. So I was going along at a pretty good clip…Mandrake…Marijuana…Oleander…Opium Poppy…and then…out of the blue…The Dreadful Bouquet.

  021_Nasrin&Ulric by Local Color Flowers Baltimore.

Warning to brides: Do Not FREAK OUT if you see one of these flowers in your wedding bouquet. In order for the dreadfulness of these flowers to become apparent you have to EAT them-in large quantities.  Here are some of the ingredients to the “dreadful bouquet”.

Lily of the Valley: This dainty white flower with beautiful green leaves is a favorite of brides.  We love using it because it holds up well in bouquets. Apparently it contains cardiac glycosides…a toxin that if consumed (EATEN..don’t forget…EATEN) in large amounts can cause headache, nausea and heart failure.


Sweet Pea: The perky white flower sticking out of this bouquet is another favorite of brides. It’s wonderfully fragrant and has beautiful twisty greens that are great in arrangements. They also come in a million colors-making them a spring “go to” flower. According to Stewart, sweet peas are only MILDLY poisonous. Although paralysis, weakness and tremors don’t sound MILD to me!


The list goes on… tulip bulbs that cause rashes and swelling, dermatitis brought on by lilies, bleeding hearts that cause seizures, mums that serve up a dose of swollen eyes and monkshood that kill you! Who knew something so pretty could be so dangerous (WHEN EATEN!)


I think the lesson here is two-fold: 1) Do NOT eat your wedding bouquet. 2) Respect the miracles that nature presents to us. Love the earth and enjoy the beauty and mystery in flowers. They are more powerful than you know.

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