Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker - Laburnum Flower Fairy

The Laburnum Fairy
Bees! bees! come to the trees
Where the Lime has hung her treasures;
Come, come, hover and hum;
Come and enjoy your pleasures!
The feast is ready, the guests are bidden;
Under the petals the honey is hidden;
Like pearls shine the drops of sweetness there,
And the scent of the Lime-flowers fills the air.
But soon the blossoms pretty and pale
Will all be gone; and the leaf-like sail
Will bear the little round fruits away;
So bees! bees! come while you may!




Laburnum is a genus of two species of small trees in the subfamily Faboideae of the pea family Fabaceae, Laburnum anagyroides (Common Laburnum) and L. alpinum (Alpine Laburnum).

Laburnum trees have yellow pea-flowers in pendulous racemes 10-30 cm long in spring, which makes them very popular garden trees.
The leaves are trifoliate, somewhat like a clover.

The yellow flowers are responsible for the old poetic name 'golden chain tree'.

Laburnum seed toxicity is a common cause of poisoning in young children, who mistake the seeds for peas. All parts of the plant are poisonous and can be lethal if consumed in excess. Symptoms of Laburnum poisoning may include intense sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, slight frothing at the mouth and unequally dilated pupils. In some cases, diarrhoea is very severe and at times the convulsions are markedly tetanic.

Despite the plant's toxicity, it is used as a food plant by the larvae of some butterflies and moths.

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