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Common Name: Darnel
Lolium temulentum is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It has edible and medicinal uses.
The seed is not poisonous but it is often infected by a fungus which is very toxic. It is probably safer not to eat the seed because of the risk involved[
Europe - Mediterranean. An introduced casual in Britain.
Cultivated fields and waste ground in Britain[
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
This is a noxious arable weed, widespread and naturalized in warm-temperate parts of the world (Darnel). The grains are often infected by a fungus (ergot) which produces the alkaloid temulin, causing poisoning when grazed by cattle or when present as a contaminant of flour[
Seed - cooked. Used as a piñole or ground into a flour and used to make bread etc[
]. It is very nutritious, like oats, but it is not advisable to eat the seed due to the risk of fungal infection[
]. This fungal infection, called ergot, causes hallucinations in small doses but can cause severe damage to the nervous system in larger quantities.
The seed is anodyne and sedative[
]. It is not actually the seed, but a fungus that is often found on the seed that has the medicinal properties[
Seed - sow spring in situ.