POISON PLANTS by Alan Eshleman


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Instead of including the 700+ plants having poisonous properties, Eshleman has chosen a representative selection, concentrating on those growing in the United States which illustrate the variety of poison plants. He looks at irritants and allergens (poison ivy, etc.) and also examines those that affect nerves or internal organs, noting that they more often afflict grazing animals than people and rarely work as quickly as TV shows suggest. The increased popularity of houseplants has altered statistics: philodendron now leads the accidental poisonings list and marijuana ranks fourth. Eshleman includes fungi (mushrooms, ergot), algae (in red tides), and gymnosperms, and he indicates which plants may be medicinal or noxious depending on do. sage or processing. Mentioned briefly: the more dramatic species yielding poison for darts and potent powders. Kristin Jakob's illustrations, although not ideal for field identification, have an attractive, textured, slightly mannered look recalling old prints. Reasonable format, careful treatment, more thoughtfully organized than Limburg's Poisonous Plants (1976).

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin