Dangerous flora and fauna in New Zealand.

Newsgroups: alt.folklore.herbs
Subject: Re: Nicotine not just in tobacco
From: jack.cee.hw.ac.uk (Jack Campin)
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 1994 11:28:20 GMT

> BTW, I'm trying to put together a list of plants known to be toxic to horses. Can anyone give me some references?

The giant New Zealand stinging nettle onga-onga has been known to kill horses that stray into patches of it. The common NZ plant tutu can poison cows that eat it for more than a day or two, so I presume that's toxic to horses too.

Other NZ specialties: katipos (poisonous spiders), wetas (like gigantic cockroaches that get up to 13 inches long), karaka berries (a fruit parts of which are edible, but the other parts are a convulsant poison that will leave you frozen in a convulsed position forever after the poison wears off; the Maori used to bury victims with their limbs straight so they could at least lie down afterwards rather than be human caltrops), a social welfare system reformed on the same caring and humane lines as in Russia, some of the worst agriculture-induced soil erosion in the world, beaches patrolled by sharks and with a steady gentle current of radioactive waste from French bomb tests, Lion beer, whole hillsides covered with spiny thickets of imported gorse and carcinogenic bracken, about as many earthquakes as California and Japan put together, and dormant volcanoes including one that probably had the most violent eruption on the face of the planet in the last 10000 years and a repeat of which would end all human life in the country within minutes.

Can't wait to go back there.

-- Jack Campin