Beautiful but Deadly Plants
by Lucy S. - Posted Thu May 10, 2012 @ 1:19 PM
A few days ago, I visited Natural Bridge State Park. As always, it was beautiful and I had a wonderful time walking. All along the trails, Mountain Laurel was in bloom, but I was distressed to see people picking the blossoms because the Mountain Laurel is poisonous.
As we were preparing to ride the sky lift back down, a family came up behind us all carrying the Mountain Laurel blossoms - including their three small children. The gentleman running the sky lift told they could be fined $500 for picking flowers, but he wouldn't do anything about it this time. My mother spoke up asking, "Aren't those poisonous?" The man laughed and said Mountain Laurel was harmless. I started to say something, but found myself questioning my own knowledge. As soon as I could, I looked it up and found it was indeed poisonous.
While people shouldn't be picking any flowers in the park, I think it would be helpful if there were signs in the park alerting visitors that the Mountain Laurel is poisonous and shouldn't be touched. This would help people to protect themselves and their children.
Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestion.