Poisenous Seductress of Ants

Date

2020 04 29

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IMG_asarum-eur.jpg
In spring, when the blooming of violets start to fade in the forests, it is worth getting acquainted with
the European wild ginger. Only when searching carelully, one can find overwintered green kidney-shaped leathery
leaves in the meadow of violets. It is European wild ginger. The plant belongs to the Wild Gingers family, has
a poisonous essential oil of azarone, hence the Latin name - Asarum europaeum. When you rub the leaf, you can
smell the pepper, and when you taste it, it causes nausea. The rhizomes are sometimes used as a condiment
instead of pepper.
 
Pepper leaves bloom and spread abnormally. Beneath the leaves, just on the ground, are lone, ugly bell-shaped
flowers. They are not pollinated by wind, butterflies, or anemones, but by ants, crawling everywhere. The
plant is perfectly dependent on them - it is not known what attracts them during flowering, but when the seeds
mature, they have special additives for ants - fleshy regrowths. The ants are crazy about these, so the prey is
pulled towards the anthill like delicacies. The sprouts are chewed and the seeds are scattered along the way.