Sunday, September 29, 2019

Turns out it was poisonous all along

Today, Erev Rosh haShanah no less, I had the chance to fulfill an unusual mitzvah - ולא תשים דמים בביתך "You shall not place blood in your home" (Devarim 22:8), which requires us to eliminate hazards from our homes.

Here's a mug shot of the hazard:

In early spring, I thought I would surprise my wife with new plants and flowers. I went to the nursery and picked up what I thought were some great purchases, including one called "Autumn Monkshood" (aka Wolfsbane, but I didn't know that at the time). It grew beautifully - dark green leaves, a very tall stem, and finally, just a week or two ago, it started to flower. Many buds are yet to open, promising rich, blue-purple flowers for weeks to come. Yes, it flowers in September-October! And into November, I'm told. And it's perennial, and hardy to Zone 2. What's not to like!

So the other day, I thought about buying a bunch more of these beautiful plants. I was in love. And then I Googled it and found out it's toxic. Not a little toxic, either - potentially fatal. Even contact can be hazardous, although there is some debate about the extent.

So out it went this morning. Depressing, but nice to fulfill this unusual mitzvah, going into the new year...

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