Can you make a Wild Columbine poison for the witch’s garden? Whilst reports vary, it seems that you’d need at the very least, a very high concentration of seeds or plants to make Wild Columbine poison potions.
It’s said the Wild Columbine poison comes from the naturally occurring chemical Wild Columbine aconitine, also found in Monkshood which can certainly be fatal. Charles-Ernest Cornevin seems to have been the source of this, writing in 1893.
Wild Columbine poison was said to be the source of a brew, made by stirring the seeds into wine or tea, which cunning women (and men) used to induce abortions in earlier times. Like Tansy which was also believed to be used for this same purpose, the medicinal values have been overlooked so that now they are both more likely found in cottage gardens for their beauty, rather than use as a poison or healing remedy.
Native Americans used Columbine for healing, as well as for cooking, and the leaves and flowers are safe in small quantities and supposedly quite tasty mixed with other greens. But roots and seeds are certainly highly toxic.
I planted this particular plant in the witch’s garden three or four years ago, to fill in a shady spot which is more often than not, overrun by poison ivy. While it doesn’t help in crowding out that noxious weed, it does add a bit of delicate beauty to contrast poison ivy’s menacing growth.
Columbines were through to be a portal to the realm of dreams and visions by the ancient celts, and it’s not commonly thought that Wild Columbine poison is particularly dangerous, as it’s often found on lists of plants to use to introduce children to gardening.
Columbine is a lovely addition to a witch’s garden, with plenty of folklore to keep it interesting, lovely blooms which keep popping up, requires little care and attracts hummingbirds like … magic.