James Wong @Botanygeek Ethnobotanist with a focus on food crops • Teaches about plant & food science for work • Columnist for @NewScientist & @ObserverUK • Lives with 500 houseplants. Dec. 02, 2018 1 min read

I see this image is doing the rounds again...

Apparently putting a warning label on daffodils is ‘health and safety gone mad’.

Or, worse, sign people are stupid & deserve to get very ill if they eat them. #darwinawards

But here’s how a botanist sees this...

Three of these are popular vegetables, eaten all over the world & also sold in Britain.

BUT one shows daffodil buds, which are pretty horrendously toxic.

Non plant geeks, can you spot the difference?

In fact, daffodils are one of the most common causes of plant poisoning in the U.K.

Made worse as they were (until extremely recently) often sold & stored alongside fruit and veg.

Spot the difference between their bulbs & shallots.

This is in a world where massively influential clean-eating bloggers regularly top their gluten and dairy free creations with toxic flowers.

Maybe with a warning label they wouldn’t. (Just maybe?)


Without a label, you need to be in possession of several pieces of insider info to not be at risk.


1) What a daffodil is.
2) That it is toxic.
3) That other (edible) species look v similar.
4) How to spot the subtle differences.

What % of the population has all these?

You can follow @Botanygeek.


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