Marks & Spencer was left with little option but to apologise after one of its stores displayed daffodils alongside spring onions in its “seasonal favourites!”
Botanist James Wong tweeted his disbelief after seeing the move telling his followers that daffodils are not edible and are in fact, poisonous.
He shared photographs on Twitter (see below) and warned: “Daffodils are the single most common cause of plant-based poisoning as people mistake their bulbs for crops in the onion family.
“Daffodils are filled with microscopic crystals, so biting into one is like swallowing a box of tiny needles. Properly nasty”. He called for M&S to provide better training for their staff about the dangers of daffodils.
In response M&S said: “Thanks for flagging this with us, James. Colleagues are aware not to display daffodils next to produce and this was a genuine error in one of our stores.
“We have contacted the store and the signage has been updated and onions moved.
“As a precaution, we’re reminding all stores to make sure the flowers are displayed properly. Customer safety is our priority and all daffodils have an on-pack warning that they are not safe to consume.”
Public Health England has previously warn that daffodils could be confused with onions or Chinese vegetables.
They add that the popular spring flowers contain toxic alkaloids that can cause severe vomiting and their consumption was an “emerging risk”.
The letter said: “Each spring, stores such as yours provide a wide selection of flowers, particularly cut daffodils and daffodil bulbs.
Gosh, my mum sent me this…
Daffodils are the single most common cause of plant-based poisoning as people mistake their bulbs (even cut flower buds) for crops in the onion family.@marksandspencer I don’t want to get any staff in trouble. But you need better training asap. pic.twitter.com/md8gSb2qlz
— James Wong (@Botanygeek) February 27, 2023