Poisonous beauty

Photo: Arne Ader
Translation: Liis
May lily
 
May lily     Harilik leseleht      Maianthemum bifolium
 
In shadowy forests and their verges little red berries reveal the growing place of the May lily. The leaves of the plant are heart-shaped.
 
The „wineberry“, by one of its folk names, is said to make birds and animals that eat the leaves and berries a little “drunk”. For humans the May lily fruits are toxic. The fruit contains one seed and the fruit flesh has a sweet taste. 
 
To small children eating three-four grams of the berries becomes dangerous. Calculation exercise: one berry with seed weighs about 0,06 grams and in the growing place not many of them are found; rather they are an autumnal delight for the eyes. So cases of May lily poisoning are not common.


 

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