Young Actor Dies of Monkshood Poisoning

Discussion in 'Conversations Forum' started by Daniel Mosquin, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    10,578
    Likes Received:
    615
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,511
    Likes Received:
    235
    Location:
    sw USA
    A sober reminder

    An event like this serves as a sober reminder that nature carries dangers. Mr. Noble may have come in contact with the potent sap in a completely inadvertent way while harvesting or investigating other plants on his excursion. Great caution must be taken to accurately identify plants in the wild before consuming them or handling them extensively.

    Caution must also be taken in our gardens and landscapes. Monkshood and other highly poisonous plants such as datura and daphne are commonly grown around our homes. Never sample even the smallest taste of a plant that you are not 100% sure is safe to eat. Be very careful of the sap of plants, which often has concentrated amounts of the toxins or irritants found in plants.

    Teach children this lesson as well. Knowledge and caution will help us avoid tragedies like the one that occured to the Noble family.
     
  3. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    I read this story when it first came out. Wild parsley and monkshood are completely different. I was always hoping for a follow-up story to explain how he ingested parts of the Monkshood- nary a word. The story sounds so far fetched that it is almost unbelievable.

    My local nursury last year had a full shelf of monkshood. When I phoned and asked if they had Datura Seeds, the reply was they don't sell them because they are toxic. I never replied. Later I bought my castor bean seeds from the same nursery.
    Ignorance is bliss so they say.

    Factually most gardens are full of poisonous plants if ingested and sometimes handled.
    The countryside is full of Devils Trumpets. I often see castor bean plants along people driveways. I grow Monkshood, Castor beans and Devils Trumpets, plus a few more that are probably toxic. Care and caution yes.
    Just an observation.
    Durgan
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2005
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,420
    Likes Received:
    502
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    I'd read about this very sad case too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Noble

    Sounded so intriguing that I did a google search; to hazard a guess, I would not be overly surprised if it was actually suicide, I find it hard to believe he would not have known what the plant was if he was familiar with the woods
     
  5. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    The story is modern journalism at its best. Drop a suprise on the public, incomplete story and the story gets enlarged. Peope start to speculate, and that eventually becomes repeated fact. Monkshood even in appearance look ominous, The flowers are pretty, and the name amongst others is appropiate. My beautiful specimen will soon be in bloom with five large stalks.

    That story will bcome an urban legend; eventually, similiar to the Ricin umbrella tipped killing of a Bulgarian dissenter.

    URL to Ricin story.

    This one I tried to track down and all records and principals are dead. If close enough to poke, why not bam to the head. It doesn't make sense taking a chance with an umbrella to my logical thinking anyway. Poking some-one in the butt with a sharp tipped umbrella would elicit a violent reaction in most people; also, there is a good chance the tip would lodge in clothing. Too risky as a final solution.
    Durgan
     
  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    11,420
    Likes Received:
    502
    Location:
    Britain zone 8/9
    Sorry, the Georgi Markov case is not an urban legend. A very real Cold War assassination.
     
  7. Durgan

    Durgan Contributor 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,669
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Brantford,Ontario, Canada
    I still don't believe it. Cynic to the last.
    Durgan
     
  8. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,511
    Likes Received:
    235
    Location:
    sw USA
    Yes, I agree, this is documented. A light poke with an umbrella could easily go unnoticed on a busy street. In the Noble case it is hard to say what really happened. The main reason we post stories on plant poisonings to the weblog, is that they really do happen. The victims are most often children and pets. The best way to prevent poisonings of this sort is to educate people about the plants. Banning and eradicating poison plants from the landscape is probably not a feasible option.
     

Share This Page