Common wolfberry – ordinary wolfberry

Name: Common wolfberry – common wolfberry

Common wolfberry (Daphne mezereum); wolfberry; family Thymeleiaceae (Thymeliaceae); common wolfberry


Beware POISON!

Mid-spring. April. The snow has melted almost everywhere, the hills have even dried up, only in some places small islands are still white in the hollows and in the shade of winged spruces. If you lurk for a while, you can hear a continuous rustling: sharp spikes of young grass break through piles of last year’s leaves. The days are bright, in the morning fog creeps in the lowlands. The forest is transparent, you can see far away, because the leaves on the bushes and trees have not yet bloomed. Spring is gaining strength.

On the slope of the stream, next to the hazel bushes, the eye caught a flowering plant. Is something blooming? At this time, when there are not even leaves? Let’s get closer. Indeed, a low flowering bush, delicate, fragrant, lilac flowers on bare branches. The first desire is to pluck, bring home, show everyone this unusual primrose. However, a broken branch does not want to break, it springs back, it wets itself – the bark of the plant resembles the strength of a linden face, which used to be, and sometimes still is, used to make bath washcloths. But you should not break the plant. Undoubtedly, it is very beautiful, but even if you managed to break off, “unscrew” a twig, you must wash your hands with soap. Because all parts of this plant are poisonous.

It’s time to introduce a stranger: these are ordinary wolfberries. Among the people, because of their peculiarity, it is difficult to break, they got the name “wolf’s face” – as if this face is only for wolves, not for people. Other lovers of spring bouquets use their teeth to tear a branch from the trunk. It is dangerous! After such an attempt, painful ulcers remain in the mouth and on the lips, which will not heal for a long time.

It should be remembered that the plant is very poisonous, so any use of products from it must be agreed with a doctor – phytotherapist.

And why mercilessly break a wolf’s face, because a bush can bring joy not only to you, but also to other lovers of forest walks and hikes. Having memorized the places where the plant grows, you can admire it every year. Wolfberries are also very beautiful at the end of summer, when bright red fruits appear on the branches of the bush next to the emerald leaves (scientists call them drupes – they really have a big stone). Do not be tempted by berries! Like all parts of the plant, they are poisonous.

Now you can come across a wolf’s face in the forest not so often, it is quite rare to see it in the suburbs of Moscow. Relatives of this plant grow in the Urals, in Siberia, in Kamchatka, they also occur in the Caucasus. Some of them are listed in the Red Book. In Ukraine, common wolfberries grow singly in Polissia, in the Carpathians, in the right-bank forest-steppe zone, very rarely in the left-bank – in deciduous and mixed forests. They need protection. Medicinal properties of wolfberries are used in folk medicine. So, it is also a useful plant. Therefore, if you see it during flowering or with bright fruits, do not rush to tear it. The plant looks much better in natural conditions than in any, even the most elaborate vase.

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