Weeds Go Grrr: Rattlebox

Found this locally. It is very pretty.

It is also poisonous and invasive.

Crotalaria spectabilis. Introduced from India into the Southeast the same reason a lot of other plants were, for adding nitrogen to the soil. It does that. It also kills anything unlucky enough to eat the seeds.

See those lovely rattle-y pods? Don’t eat them.

Another look, so you can recognize the foliage too.

Lovely, but poison. Except, apparently, for larvae of the ornate moth, who use it for defense the same way monarchs use milkweeds. It’s a similar heart-affecting toxin. Eep.

Save us all from government types with “good ideas”….

24 thoughts on “Weeds Go Grrr: Rattlebox

      1. There’s a lot of plants where the honey from them is toxic– Oleander was the first I heard of, but I think I just saw something about a bear cub hallucinating because he got into rhododendron honey.

        I know the buckwheat honey my husband got from a place called Second Harvest is… basically molasses. The flavor is just slightly off, but the color is right on.

        My parents send us alfalfa honey, too, they get it from neighbors that make their money mostly off of pollination, not the honey. I prefer it to clover, but clover *is* the most popular in the US. (“Wildflower Honey” is wonderful marketing, too.)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My husband does home brewing, and we’re doing mead as well as more traditional fruit juice (and some jam-based stuff!) so I’ve gotten to do a decent amount of sampling. 😀

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      3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24214851/
        Honey produced from the nectar of Rhododendron ponticum contains alkaloids that can be poisonous to humans, while honey collected from Andromeda flowers contains grayanotoxins, which can cause paralysis of limbs in humans and eventually leads to death. In addition, Melicope ternata and Coriaria arborea from New Zealand produce toxic honey that can be fatal. There are reports that honey is not safe to be consumed when it is collected from Datura plants (from Mexico and Hungary), belladonna flowers and Hyoscamus niger plants (from Hungary), Serjania lethalis (from Brazil), Gelsemium sempervirens (from the American Southwest), Kalmia latifolia, Tripetalia paniculata and Ledum palustre.

        So, not on the known list, so maybe not common enough to get a high enough concentration?

        Liked by 2 people

      4. There’s a YouTube travel video about villagers in… Nepal?… that gather honey from wild mountain beehives. It’s hallucinogenic in a supposedly religious way, and I guess it got very big in India and China. But the villagers quit doing this stuff when they got enough money not to be that desperate, so they were following around this one guy who was about ready to retire and couldn’t find anyone who wanted to be his apprentice. I haven’t watched it except the beginning, so I don’t know what the bees were eating.

        Honestly, you’d think you’d experiment with making the bees some more accessible hives… but wild bees are probably pickier than domesticated-ish bees.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’d guess it’s not that the “wild” bees are pickier– wild swarms are regularly picked up by bee keepers– it’s the Lobster Trap problem.

        If you make it easier for someone to harvest something by putting in the work ahead of time, there’s a very good chance that people will show up and take the fruit of your labors, so you do all the work and get no reward at all.

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      6. (I think of it as the Lobster Trap problem because there are cases in modern times of people being killed and Nobody Saw Anything, because they were known to brag about emptying other folks’ lobster traps.)

        Liked by 2 people

  1. That’s one reason why, while Echo does bring in some foreign plants, they actually focus on the research to work out what’s safe and sustainable without major industrial might controlling it. Stuff to improve the life for the poor and needy in third-world countries, but also safe for those poor and needy to handle on their own without supervision, without risking it escaping and getting out of control.


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  2. Hey! Writing question: You add the ISBN after you have the book formatted on Amazon, right? I noticed that there’s no ISBN listed on the copyright page for Oni the Lonely’s ebook (at least on the sample), but there is on the paperback, so…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazon provides one free ISBN. Hardcopy books need them, the Library of Congress has to have one to give your book an LCCN, but e-books don’t have to have one.

      When I get a bit more financially stable, I may buy some ISBNs specifically for Kindle versions.

      Liked by 2 people

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