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Common Name: Darnel
Lolium temulentum is an annual plant that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
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.