The Healer's Apothecary

Found in hedgerow, Holme, Cumbria 12/10/17

Black Bryony, Tamus Communis, lady's seal, Devil's Tulip or Black bindweed. Climbing habit, heart shape leaves that die back in winter, the red berries are highly toxic (although, in parts of Europe young shoots of the plant are sometimes eaten raw in salads.)

A sickly smell and taste mean the berries rarely cause accidental poisoning. Historically, the tuber root was commonly used in herbal medicine and applied as a poultice for the relief of gout and rheumatism.

Poisonous to livestock.

Contains toxic glycosides including bryonidin, a purgative. Symptoms of serious poisoning include, violent diarrhea, convulsive coma, paralysis and death.

The juice is an irritant causing blistering on contact.

No relation to white bryony.

Source: Lewis's Dictionary of Toxicology by Robert Alan Lewis 1998

Moss Lane, Holme

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