Saturday, May 23, 2009

Strychnine Tree

Strychnos psilosperma
Here is some very pretty fruit, on a very pretty local plant
It is an attractively shaped small tree.
Pity about the poison.
The fragrant white flowers which appear, in compact bunches, in spring, are followed by these ornamental fruits in autumn. Occasionally there are pairs of spines at the bases of the leaves, but I couldn’t find any on this specimen, growing at Gowrie Junction.
Unfortunately, all parts of the plant are probably as poisonous as the plant's name suggests. I don’t think it has a future as a garden plant.
But plants like this have a right to survive, too, and they remind us of the importance of preserving some wild places where they can do so.

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