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Deadly nightshade

(12 Posts)
Elrel Fri 16-Jun-17 16:21:58

I occasionally visit a relative who lives near a primary school. Each summer I notice 2 or 3 deadly nightshade plants growing out through the school fence to the pavement. This year's crop has is now coming through. As usual I pushed the intercom button and told the person who picked up. I was told that it would be passed on to 'my manager'.
This has been going on for 6/7 years, it still hasn't been eradicated. I just don't want someone's toddler, waiting outside the school for an older sibling to come out at home time, to decide to taste those shiny red berries while DM happens to be looking the other way. WWYD?

Anya Fri 16-Jun-17 16:36:12

You can't assume responsibility for everyone else's child, nor assume mothers are stupid. We have several poisonous plants in our garden and others like raspberries and wild strawberries which are edible. There are various fungi around in the autumn which ought to be avoided too.

The best option is for parents to educate their children not to eat anything unless a responsible adults OKs it.

I appreciate that you are a kind and caring person, but you cannot worry yourself unnecessarily about this.

Elrel Fri 16-Jun-17 17:02:21

I'd worry if I didn't tell the school, I think! I take your point, Anya!

Nannarose Fri 16-Jun-17 17:56:35

I think that you are both right. Of course Anya's approach is correct, but that doesn't mean that Elrel shouldn't alert people to dangers.

Sensible parents teach children not to put anything unknown into their mouths. However, many parents may not be aware that deadly nightshade needs an 'extra' warning, and distracted parents may miss a toddler picking at such a plant.

Elrel, I would continue to ring and point out the danger. Then tell yourself that you have done what you can and your conscience is clear.

ninathenana Fri 16-Jun-17 18:03:05

Maybe contact the local EA

TriciaF Fri 16-Jun-17 18:03:23

If it was me I would go quietly with my secateurs and a plastic bag and cut them down and take them away.

Deedaa Fri 16-Jun-17 21:34:34

Are you sure it's Deadly Nightshade? I thought the berries were black not red. Red berries sound more like Woody Nightshade, which is still poisonous but not as deadly.

BlueBelle Fri 16-Jun-17 21:42:09

To be honest most peoples gardens are full of poisonous plants that they don't even realise are poison I didn't know my garden of lilies of the valley are poisonous until recently
I don't think you can be taking it on your shoulders, everyone has to be responsible for their own children what if they take their kids for a walk through the woods you won't be there
You have done what you can you can't do more ...if they've been there for at least six years ( the time you've been reporting it) and no child has eaten them the chances are the parents are all looking out for their kids

M0nica Sat 17-Jun-17 07:37:24

Would the parents recognise that these plants and their berries are poisonous. If 25% of their children think fish fingers are made from chicken and cheese grows on trees, I suspect their knowledge of plants and which are poisonous will be limited.

You could write a letter to the head teacher at the school and keep a copy. You would then have drawn their attention to the danger and need not feel guilty if the unthinkable happens.

jusnoneed Sat 17-Jun-17 07:45:52

Deadly nightshade berries are black (start green). Pale purple flowers first.
Well done on trying to let them know what you are concerned about, even if it's something different it could still make someone ill or worse.

Nelliemoser Sat 17-Jun-17 08:38:35

I would probably pull them up myself.
Send a letter or email to the school and to the education dept. You can prove you sent an email and request a response.
Better tell the school they are poisonous in case they don't know. A letter in a local newspaper might work.

I know parents should teach their kids these things, but children will be children and they do some very silly and dangerous things.

Elrel Tue 20-Jun-17 18:23:00

I pulled off what I could through the fence yesterday. Perhaps I should burrow under at night! Relieved to hear that it is almost certainly Woody Nightshade so less deadly but still shouldn't be there.
I'll look for a copy of the email I sent a couple of years ago. I remember that when I first noticed the plant a friend of DGS was at that junior school, he's now at university!
Thanks for the many helpful suggestions.

M0nica - I read that the words acorn and bluebell had this year been removed from the Children's edition of the Oxford Dictionary.