Noxious Invader

they say it is 
   a noxious 
      invader

   attractive
   nuisance
   i believe

      you cannot
touch it, it is
   poisonous

   in general
a toxic mess.

but when i look
   i see such
      beauty and,

   i find that
      difficult
to understand...

8 thoughts on “Noxious Invader

  1. writingpresence

    Murray, I am deducing from this that you live in western North America, because that’s where Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus) is clsssified as a noxious weed.

    Here in northern Scotland it is part of the wild succession from foreshore (of sea or lake) up into woodland. Indeed I first saw it in the wild on the shores of the Isle of Arran (one of the Western Isles of Scotland) when I was a student on a botany field trip in the 1970s. Later I learnt (from an interest in dye-plants) that the rhizomes (swollen root-like basal parts) were – with added ferrous sulphate – the source of a black dye or even an ink.

    I am also familiar with it on the eastern English fens (alkaline-soiled bogs) and as an emergent plant in wildlife ponds – the sort of tall spear-shaped leaf that a dragonfly nymph might use in its final metamorphosis to one of those stunning, powerful adults. I wonder whether (from your name) you had Scottlish forebears, and whether it was one of them who brought yellow flag westwards when colonising? Not that you would know that…

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    Reply
    1. murray robertson Post author

      Thank you writingpresence!

      I read that the Yellow Iris was toxic, but a local naturalist tells me she pulls them
      up, without gloves even. I imagine differing toxicity levels occur in different
      places.

      The rattlesnake, a north american pit viper, is very poisonout in the southern USA.
      By the time they get here, they are barely toxic, I’m told. Might be a similar
      situation with the yellow iris.

      My name is certainly Scottish. Two clan names. Jacobite, I think. My dad had an
      uncle George (re. George Murray) and James and Charlie were also common in our
      family. That’s on my dad’s side.

      Mom’s people were English. A poet, a writer, and an explorer (Admiral) on that
      side. I have never been to Britain, and might like to see some of it when the world
      is sane again.

      Best Wishes!
      m

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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