It’s not often that entirely new discoveries are made about the flora of the British Isles. How lucky we were to be present when superstar volunteer Eli “The Nose” was sniffing around some red berries at Brackenbed. For he has indeed found out that the berries of the attractive climber bittersweet smell just like luncheon meat! This exciting fact is, as far as we know, reported nowhere else. Not even Richard Mabey in his biblical Flora Brittanica undertook rigourous enough study to discern this (though he did find out that the leaves, when crushed, smell of burnt rubber). Bittersweet (also called Solanum dulcamara, woody nightshade or felonwort) is, however, poisonous, so unfortunately it cannot be used as a cheap Spam substitute. Please don’t try.
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