Found two more weird plants while out looking for weird plants and attempting to avoid the poison ivy, which was not avoided, so the walk was only partially successful. There is a nice healthy patch of Arisaema triphyllum, or jack in the pulpit, down by the creek, and also a bunch of Saururus cernuus, lizards tails. Neither plant is all that especially odd of itself, but they both do have great names. Both these plants seem to like the damp, the lizards being a bit closer to the water than the jacks.
The jacks have disturbing leaves, very poison ivy like, with three leaves per stalk. They are a bit bigger than poison ivy leaves, and it is not a vine, but still. Very unsettling. The flowers are very different though, so if the plants are in flower, it’s a bit less disturbing. However, they are still highly toxic. The leaves and flowers contain calcium oxalate crystals, which will send you to the emergency room if you eat them. So don’t. Deer won’t even eat them. And deer are the Mikeys of mammals, they’ll eat anything.
So, take home is jack = bad to eat, poison ivy = bad all around, lizards = just fine if a bit damp.
“Jack-in-the-pulpit” Encyclopedia of life, available from http://eol.org/pages/1134341/overview. Accessed June 8, 2015.
“Lizards Tail.’ Encyclopedia of Life, available from http://www.eol.org/pages/597359/overview. Accessed June 8, 2015.