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Arum maculatum

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Comment from Miriam Mesa-Villalba

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Its orange-red berries, in the autumn, are attractive but poisonous, producing a burning sensation in the mouth. Its root was once used as a source of starch in the days when collars and cuffs were stiff and white.The flowers produce a pungent smell which attracts carrion-feeding flies. The insects, crawling downwards in search of nectar, brush against the pollen-bearing stamens. Many insects die in this process, since they are unable to escape, but this is not a carnivorous plant: the deaths are merely incidental to the plant's reproductive cycle.

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  • Posted: Sat. 6th June 2009 10:32