Gardener 'died after brushing past poisonous plant' in millionaire's garden


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I just came across this article, which is a couple years old, but after looking into it, it seems like these plants are common in the UK. Anyone have them? Or can add to the information in the article?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/11213530/Gardener-died-after-brushing-past-poisonous-plant-in-millionaires-garden.html

Excerpt:

"A gardener collapsed and died after apparently handling a highly-poisonous plant on the £4 million estate of a wealthy businessman, a coroner has heard.

Nathan Greenaway fell ill after brushing against the deadly flower aconitum, also known as Devil's Helmet and Monkshood, which was growing in the grounds of Millcourt House, owned by retired venture capitalist Christopher Ogilvie Thompson and his wife Katherine.

A pre-inquest hearing was told that Mr Greenaway, 33, died in hospital from multiple organ failure.

The gardener was rushed to hospital but despite frantic analysis of his blood, doctors were unable to work out what was wrong with him and he died five days later.

The coroner heard that it was only after Mr Greenaway’s father, Richard, carried out hours of tireless research in an effort to find out what happened, that the link with the aconitum plant became apparent.

North Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley heard from histopathologist Asmat Mustajab, who concluded it was "more likely than not" that Mr Greenaway died after coming into contact with the deadly purple flowering plant.

He was employed by South African-born Mr Ogilvie Thompson and his wife to maintain the manicured gardens of their sprawling estate in exclusive Upper Froyle near Alton, Hants."
 
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zigs

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Blimey, knew they were bad but not that bad :eek:

Seen em in a few gardens over here.
 
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Different species of aconitum have been used on poison arrows.
 
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We have most of the species and some of the hybrids in the garden and I brush past them on a regular basis. I am still alive. Obviously, as with any poisonous plant, (and our gardens are full of them) you do need to take sensible precautions. BUT, to stop growing things would be equally silly.
When I read this report years ago, I did not believe it and I still have my doubts about it. You really would have to do more than just brush past a plant for it to have any effect on you. After all it is not like say a Nettle or Poison Ivy where a touch is enough.
 
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There was more to this story than a gardener brushing past a plant...aconitum....and dying.
A person can die from a bee sting, for example, but bees usually sting but not kill :)
 
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There are all kinds of scenarios. The person who died may have brushed a hand with an open wound in it for example, may have had a special sensitivity to it, it would have had to have gotten into the blood stream some way, possibly via the mouth.

Bee stings are not a logical comparison. Bee stings do not have the same chemical make up as aconitum.
 

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Hi,

What a sad story.

Whilst working in our garden this afternoon I was pulling up long ropes of mile a minute vine and snapping them into shorter lengths; all went well until I snapped a thick rope only to have my face sprayed with a liquid; the garden and surrounding plants were all dry so the liquid came from within the rope; this was most unexpected and fortunately I wear spectacles; anyone can get caught out in a garden.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Start listing all the plants we grow which are poisonous and you would soon realise just what a dangerous place the garden is. From Aconitum to Zigadenus, poison abounds.
 
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A lot of hysteria caused by newspapers this is a article on the inquest
• "he would not have been touching the Monkwood[sic]. He could have brushed past them, but he would not have been handling the plant."

• "there are not a large number of people coming to hospital with aconite poisoning."

• "I am unable to say aconite poisoning was more likely than not the underlying trigger for death"

And these from the coroner;

• "He did not actually handle the plant."

• "The cause of death is multiple organ failure of unknown cause [emphasis added]"

Mr. Greenaway was admitted to hospital on 28th August and died on 7th September from multi-organ failure. Aconitum does not cause multi-organ failure and it certainly does not take ten days to be lethal, if a large enough dose is involved.
 
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Always a context Zenj .
Typically an alarming if misleading newspaper headline:)
Re the analogy to a bee sting......the newspaper headline, "man dies from bee sting"
 
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Exactly. Goes with the Spanish slugs slime making cars skid story.
And an ex girl friend of mine had to carry the antidote for bee stings as she was so allergic to them.
 
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I think we do have to be careful in the garden though. One lady helping another lady tidying up her garden ended up in a hospital because of euphorbia contact. We do have horror stories, take due precaution ..

I personally prefer delphinium to Monkshood .. and I don't like euphorbia in my garden .. Do enjoy seeing them somewhere else though .. It's better to be safe than sorry.
 
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This poor chap died after eleven days in hospital. All sorts of possible causes for his illness were considered with Aconitum poisoning being a last thought even though none of the symptoms matched and there was no evidence of sufficient exposure. The coroner returned an open verdict but the British press likes to promote hysteria so persisted with the fantasy that he died simply by being close to a plant that millions of people have in their gardens with no problems.
 
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More danger in the kitchen than in the garden......think about it :(
 
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I Got Given A Massive Rhododendron last month in a pot because the customer had heard on tv that they where poisonous and did not want it. She was worried for me when I told her that I was not going to cut it up and burn it and was going to give it a home in my garden:eek:.... I too often brush past aconitum's in gardens & am still alive:)
 

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