Friday, 1 May 2015

Mayday Mayday

It's traditional in France to give friends and family Lily of the Valley Convallaria majus on 1 May as a good luck token. However, since all parts of the plant are highly toxic, I'm not so sure about the symbology!

Lily of the Valley is chock full glycosides that it makes in order to dissuade herbivores. The glycosides causes the heart rate to slow and even small quantities of the plant ingested can result in vomiting and disrupt heart function.

7 comments:

  1. You're not supposed to eat it!

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    Replies
    1. LOL...
      strange tastes the Aussies!!

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    2. Indeed, but the semiotics amuse me...

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  2. Then you must love the red poppies the British are so fond of in November.

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    Replies
    1. You must mean the strange papery-petalled things....
      with plasticky stems that seem to grow best indoors....
      on paper shop and bar counters!
      Thems be getting rarer thems is!!

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    2. Whichever way you look at it Field Poppy Papaver rhoes is the perfect symbol for remembering WWI.

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    3. And evidently the muguet is perfect for marking the 1er mai, because that's when it flowers. According to legend, the tradition goes back to the Renaissance.

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