Fly Poison
Amianthium muscitoxicum - (Walter) A. Gray
Melanthiaceae (Bunchflower) Family

Plant is an upright, smooth perennial from a bulb. Similar in many ways to the flat woods Crow Poison (Zigadensus densus). Preferred habitat is wooded slopes, open grassy areas, dry uplands and occasionally moist savannas. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are linear, mostly basal, grass-like, blunt-tipped; stem leaves are much reduced toward the tip.

Flowers are small, clustered, stalked, terminal, white, turning greenish with age. Flowers occur in the spring.

Fruit is a capsule.

This plant contains a poisonous alkaloid that can kill livestock. Pulp from the crushed bulb, mixed with sugar, is used to poison flies which gives the plant its name. The Latin description ‘muscae’ means flies and ‘toxicum’ means poison.

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