[gardeners] oleanders as toxic

flylo@txcyber.com (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 4 Jul 2001 06:51:27 -0500

I don't like Oleanders but the mention of Houston brought them to 
mind in the same context as toxic plants. I didn't realize how 
deadly until a friend lost a horse. Actually he lost the horse to a 
divorce. (sounds like a BAD country western song.)
This guy and wife had planted oleanders all around their home 
when they moved in (years ago). The bushes had grown very tall 
when folk started reminding them to keep them trimmed back 
because they're poisonous. (The couple ran a horse 
breeding/boarding facility in Conroe, just N of Houston.) 
I don't know how it came about but in a fit of predivorce rage, he 
hauled in a dozer and tore out all those oleanders, dumping them 
over the fence to burn later. His own horse plus one boarder horse 
nibbled some of the (now withering) leaves. The boarder lived but 
(Visionary) didn't make it. They had plenty of hay and grass and 
were well fed. This new 'treat' offered up by Dad by the 
bucketloader full was just too interesting to pass up. Oleanders 
stink anyhow, so nothing would eat much of them, but it only took 
a mouthful or two. If they do this to a horse, what would it do to a 
small child? 
Azaleas also are poisonous (rhododendron). they don't bloom well 
for me anyhow, so now I just admit 'Oh no, I can't grow them, toxic 
to the livestock you know.'  And I almost lost a good milker to 
Butterfly Weed we have growing wild on a hillside. She lived but 
should have been part of the sausage brigade after that, never 
milked worth a darn anymore. 
Daylilies, on the other hand are very tasty! nasturtiums are super 
easy to grow and the flower petals look and taste great in 'flower 
butter'. (spicy) Squash blossom fritters are good stuffed too.
Besides the obvious, (chives, garlic chives, etc.) what other flowers 
can you think of that are good to eat?

Martha, (Texas)
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