Polygonatum: Edible fruit? & an arboretum mislabeled species.

Even one of the most expensive colleges anywhere (Connecticut College) doesn’t label all their arboretum plants correctly. I found they’ve mislabeled their large Solomon’s Seal plants as P. pubescens. The plants are far too large and lacking the significant hairs of this species. I don’t know if my camera-phone’s photos are sufficient for a clear ID, though. For all I know, though in their native species section, they could have obtained seeds somewhere that sold them a non-native species. Otherwise, I’d lean toward the giant solomon’s seal.

The next point is the berries. They’re sweet, lacking insipid, acrid, bitter, or anything else that would be a problem. Going w/the idea w/plants that we can detect major poisons by taste, if not minor poisons, this isn’t passing that test. I’ve seen it in Sam Thayer’s book as "inedible". I don’t know if all species have the taste I had here, but I can say either this is the 1st clear exception on poison, or it is edible. Any comments are welcome, as I’d like to understand this better. Oh, and, I did eat one berry a little while ago, but may want more info. before eating several at once.


About therapistsamschaperow

Psychotherapist with a specialty in working with Bipolar and multi-diagnosed individuals and their families.
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One Response to Polygonatum: Edible fruit? & an arboretum mislabeled species.

  1. Iris Weaver says:

    About safety–I am not much of an expert except that I think not all toxins are detectable by taste, and some may build up over time. Even though I know many authors provide conflicting information on safety of various plants, please do more research before deciding it’s ok. Perhaps get in touch with Thayer and ask him why it is inedible.

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