Medium-range weather forecasting looking up to 10 days ahead has become much more reliable in recent years though it will never be perfect. So far it would appear that the Easter weekend will offer some reasonably pleasant weather. The sort of weather that encourages people to go out into parks, the countryside or just their own gardens.
Though that forecast prediction may not turn out to be true if
it does then I can make another with absolute certainty. Many
people will have an unpleasant encounter with
Urtica dioica, the stinging
nettle, during their time outdoors.
The stinging nettle is often not considered to be a poisonous part. Some people think of poisoning only as resulting from ingestion and others automatically add the word 'deadly' in front of the word 'poisonous' and because there are no recorded deaths from the stinging nettle they don’t include it in the definition.
It is though one of the most interesting poisonous plants because
of the way it does its work, the many folk remedies put forward
as the perfect way to deal with its sting and for its varied
In my talks I suggest that stinging nettle tells us a lot about
the use of psychoactive substances. Not only do people still get
stung in spite of knowing just what the plant is capable of, the
folklore that gives it the name devils plaything tends to take
away your personal responsibility by suggesting that the devil
deliberately flicks the plant against the skin to cause stinging.
Some of the stories are in the latest Poisonous Plants 1-2-1 video. Here it is:
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