Mezereon is a distinctive shrub that usually reaches approximately one meter in height. It blooms in early spring before its leaves open. The light purple flowers of mezereon are located along its stem and the bluish green leaves stand at the top of the stem. Its red and oval berries grow in the summer and are highly toxic.
The habitats where mezereon thrives include herb-rich forests, rich spruce mires and fens, edges of forests and bushes on shores. In general, the species prefers calcareous soils. Mezereon occurs in Europe, western Asia, Siberia and the Caucasus.
Mezereon contains mezerein which is why all of its parts are poisonous for humans and several mammal species. Even sniffing the strongly scented flowers can cause nausea. However, birds are able to eat the berries. Mezereon has been used as a medical plant as well as in making of poisons for carnivores and as an ornamental plant. Nowadays collecting the species for commercial purposes is prohibited.
The protection of groves and forests near the waters contributes to the success of Mezereon.
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