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The Poison Garden, Blarney Castle, Ireland

The Poison Garden:
Blarney Castle, Ireland * 021-4385252 * vwww.blarneycastle.ie *

One of the most intriguing features of the castle grounds of Blarney Castle for a botanist, scientist, or herbalist is the castle’s “Poison Garden”. A collection of plants embracing the world’s most deadliest toxins, one can walk amongst danger and see, smell, and view from close proximity what plants take the lives of hundreds of thousands of human lives annually. The garden has been active since the 18th century and a popular tourist attraction along with the other gardens on the grounds as the estate extends to over 1,000 acres of gardens (the poison garden is just a small tiny yard). The garden is located hidden behind the Castle’s battlements. Some of the more toxic or illegal of substances are located within large black conical iron cages to protect them from the tourist and the viewer from their toxicity. Some of the garden’s plants are controlled substances and therefore heavily monitored. During my 2010 and 2012 visits, many of the caged plants were empty, including the cannabis specimen. This specimen was Taken by the local gardai in 2010. Upon a visit in 2013, the Cannabis plant is not only present but enormous.

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Cannabis plant, Blarney Castle’s Poison Garden, Ireland

Of the ones I photographed and wrote about below, are:



 

 


 


Yew Tree


Yew Tree

 


Yew Tree


Yew Tree

 


Love Lies Bleeding


American Mandrake

 


Vincetoxicum officinalis /



Ruta Graveolens / RUE

 



Henbane



Henbane

 


Birthwort



Wolfsbane

 


Wolfsbane



Wolfsbane

 


Wormwood



Wormwood

 


Scutellaria luterifolia



Columbine

 


Delphinium



Poison Hemlock

 


Opium Poppy



Opium Poppy

 


European Mandrake



European Mandrake

 


Common Box


Common Box

 


Deadly Nightshade


Deadly Nightshade

 


Castor Oil Plant


Castor Oil Plant

 


Rue



Black Cohosh

 



Black Cohosh



Rhubarb

 


Camellia sinensis Tea



Foxglove

 


Foxglove



Veratrum album, White helleborene

 


Veratrum album, White helleborene



Poison Ivy/Oak

 


Poison Ivy/Oak



Cherry Laurel

 


Cherry Laurel



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Article review written by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions © 2013 – All Rights Reserved.

Bibliography / Recommended Reading / References


  • Adams, C. L. 1906 “Castles of Ireland: Some Fortress Histories and Legends”. Fredonia.
  • Blarneycastle.ie undated “Blarney Castle” website. Website referenced 1/3/2014 at http://www.blarneycastle.ie.
  • Curran, Aoife 2013 Ireland: Legends & Folklore. Regency House Publishing: Buntingford, UK.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Undated “Blarney Castle”. Website referenced 1/3/2014 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blarney_Castle.

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