July 19, 2013

A garden with plants to not eat

Kaiser Permanente administrator Jan Weerts (left) and pharmacist Steve Logan show off the Rockwood Clinic's "Sinister Garden." Photo from The Oregonian, June 12, 1986.

Contributed by Lincoln Cushing, Archivist and Historian

During the mid-1980s poisonings were the top public health hazard to children 5and younger, so Kaiser Permanente in the Northwest decided to teach by showing at their new Rockwood Clinic and built a 15-by-18 foot “Sinister Garden” with 30 common poisonous plants.

Each plant was labeled with botanical and common name as well as which parts were toxic; the clinic also offered guided tours and educational literature.