full_metal_ox (full_metal_ox) wrote in thequestionclub,

  • Music:

Do toxic plants affect the wholesomeness of edible plants growing nearby?

Suburban foraging question: a construction site in a neighborhood I frequent wound up leaving mounds of bare, freshly turned earth that have sprouted a bumper crop of purslane and lambs'-quarters, both of which I'm very fond of. Unfortunately, there's also a fair amount of datura and some mysterious carrotlike plants (I have no intention of touching the latter, since giant hogweed has been confirmed in the vicinity.)

Assuming that I don't touch the poisonous plants, would their mere proximity do anything to contaminate the edible ones? (This question was prompted in part by my mother's memories of a banana tree in my great-grandmother's garden in central Florida; strawberries grew at its foot, with the result that the bananas came out strawberry-flavored. Anecdata, admittedly, and the tree was gone by the time I entered the picture--but Mom tended to be a reliable and matter-of-fact witness, and I will personally vouch for the presence there, circa the Seventies, of giant yellow-and-pink grasshoppers and a tree that bore five kinds of citrus.

ETA, 7/9/2016: I just arrived at the area to find a landscaping crew hard at work making the issue moot; thanks for everyone's advice, though.
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