12 Jan 2011

Prunus lusitanica 'Verigata'

This verigated 'Portuguese Laurel' is such a colourful specimen shrub at the back of the Walled Garden, especially  at this grey time of year. Interestingly, along with many other plants it contains cyanide in the leaf structure. 
Curiosity may lead you around the internet to find out more about the poison.....the University Of British Columbia Botanical site  has an interesting discussion on how much cyanide is in the leaves.....and it appears that the answer is  about twice as much as sweet almonds that also owe their flavour to this poisonous compound.
Why is dealt with best by a goat keepers  website in Alaska, it appears that it is part of the natural defence of the plant to discourage herbivores (including goats!) and insects from attacking it. Even gardeners think twice about the leaf cuttings.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting! We like to hear from you.Please keep following the blog.