Some species of rhododendron are poisonous to grazing animals because of a toxin
. People have been known to become ill from eating honey
made by bees
feeding on rhododendron and azalea flowers. Xenophon
described the odd behavior of Greek
soldiers after having consumed honey in a village surrounded by Rhododendron ponticum
during the march of the Ten Thousand
in 401 BC.Pompey
's soldiers reportedly suffered lethal casualties following the consumption of honey made fromRhododendron
deliberately left behind by Pontic
forces in 67 BC during the Third Mithridatic War
. Later, it was recognized that honey resulting from these plants has a slightly hallucinogenic
The suspect rhododendrons are Rhododendron ponticum
and Rhododendron luteum
(formerly Azalea pontica
), both found in northern Asia Minor
. Eleven similar cases have been documented in Istanbul
during the 1980s.
Rhododendron is extremely toxic to horses, with some animals dying within a few hours of ingesting the plant, although most horses tend to avoid it if they have access to good forage. The effects of R. ponticum
was mentioned in the 2009 film Sherlock Holmes
as a proposed way to arrange a fake execution
It was also mentioned in the third episode of Season 2 of BBC's Sherlock (TV series)
, and has been speculated to have been a part of Sherlock's fake death scheme.
From: Geir Flatabø <geirf@...>
To: pfaf <email@example.com>
Sent: Fri, May 24, 2013 11:11 pm
Subject: [pfaf] hododendron
The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal
, where the flower is considered edible and enjoyed for its sour taste. The pickled flower can last for months and the flower juice is also marketed. The flower, fresh or dried, is added to fish curry in the belief that it will soften the bones.
PFAF lists 7 species of "edible " rhododendrons, mostly flowers and young leaves / shoots.
Anyone having experience with using Rhododendron as food source. ??