Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Beautiful and deadly

They call it corn lily. And it does look, at first glance, like an enthusiastic cornstalk.

False hellebore, Veratrum viride. AKA bear corn, itchweed, devil's bite, etc.

It's not corn. It's a member of the lily family, and extremely poisonous. But it is beautiful, with those wide, glossy, pleated leaves.

Photo of a photo in a Paradise Meadows handout.

Every site I looked at discusses the toxicity of this plant; all parts of the plants are violently toxic to humans and livestock.

It is plentiful in the Paradise Meadows. "Plants of Coastal British Columbia" says it is "most abundant at subalpine elevations, in cold wet meadows and at late snowmelt patches in the forest."

It wasn't in flower when I visited a couple of weeks ago; the buds were just forming at the tips of the tall stalks.

Beginnings of a flower cluster. With beetle.

Zooming in on that beetle. I don't know if the pink is part of the beetle, or the light glinting off its shiny head.

And another cluster of buds. With orange mites.

Zooming in again. Many orange mites, and something leggy, orange and black. A spider?


La llaman, entre otros nombres, "maiz de osos", o "lirio de maiz". Y por cierto, a primera vista se parece al maiz. Un maiz que crece con entusiasmo, con hojas grandes, brillantes, y plegadas.

Pero es una planta de la familia de los lirios, Veratrum viride, y es extremadamente venenosa. (Unos le dan el nombre de "mordida del diablo". Crece abundantemente en las Praderas Paraíso; le gustan los campos frios, mojados, sitios donde la nieve persiste hasta bien entrada la primavera.

Cada sitio que vi, y mi libro guía, hacen hincapié en la toxicidad de esta planta. Todas las partes de la planta son venenosas para los humanos y los animales.

No estaba en flor cuando llegué hace quince dias; apenas empezaban a aparecer los botones.

Las fotos:

  1. La planta entera
  2. Una foto de una foto en un folleto que publica Praderas Paraíso.
  3. Botones. Con un escarabajo.
  4. Haciendo zoom para mirar el escarabajo.
  5. Otros botones. Estos con unos ácaros anaranjados.
  6. Zoom. Los ácaros y otro bicho anaranjado con negro. ¿Una araña tal vez?/

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