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Lily of the Valley
The beautiful flower graces my yard during the spring, and you may even find it in yours. Its large, upright stems are called pipes, and from them hang sweet-smelling, bell-shaped, white flowers, and its berries are orange-red. Donít be fooled by its beauty; all parts of this plant are extremely poisonous.
May Bells by Bobby Mikul
May lily, Our Ladyís Tears, Mary's Tears, convall-lily, lily constancy, ladder-to-heaven, Jacobís ladder, male lily
In Christian legend, this flower is linked with Easter and the crucifixion of Christ. They are also called Our Ladyís Tears or Maryís Tears. Why? As Jesus was being crucified,Mary's tears are rumored to have formed into these beautiful flowers. They are also said to have formed from the tears of Eve when she was kicked out of the Garden of Eden. This flower is also seen as a symbol of the second coming of Christ.
German legend also links this flower to Easter and spring. The blooming of this dainty-looking flower brings to mind the feast of Ostara, the virgin goddess of spring.
Where Does it Grow
Lily of the Valley is quite common across North America, Northern Asia, and Northern Europe. It is also the national flower of Finland.
This Flower is Poison
This extremely picturesque flower, the symbol of purity and humility, is highly poisonous. If it is ingested, chances are you will die. Every part of this beautiful plant is poisonous; even the water it has been kept in has poison in it. On a toxicity scale of 1 to 6, this plant earns a 6.
The reaction to the poison is immediate. Symptoms would include the following:
patches of red skin
cold, clammy skin
death from heart failure
Is there any hope for survival if this flower is ingested? Well, yeah, but since the poison acts so fast, help needs to be obtained very quickly. Pumping of the stomach, or gastric lavage, is recommended, as are doses of cardiac depressants to bring the rhythm of the heart under control.
This is a method of poisoning that has I have yet to run across in any fiction story, but it is a good way for your character to poison his or her victim. The flower could be ground up into a powder and added to a cup of tea or coffee before being served to the intended victim. If you criminal character is a cook, he could also grind add into a powder, then cook it into whatever dish was being prepared. Spaghetti sauce would be an appropriate dish in which to add it The victim could be told it was a new spice. Also, this way it can be ensured that the victim ingests enough of the poison for him to die.
Whether or not the victim succumbs to the ingested poison, and whether or not the murderer is caught is all up to you.
Believe it or not, this poisonous flower does have its medicinal uses. Just like have foxglove, it is used for heart problems, but if too much is ingested, the recipient wonít have any more cardiac issues to worry about. With what you now know about this flower, would you risk taking it ? And how would your character put this knowledge to use?
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