Paris quadrifolia

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Paris quadrifolia
Paris quadrifolia 2011 G2.jpg
Paris quadrifolia
growing in Ukraine near Vinnytsia
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Liliales
Family: Melanthiaceae
Genus: Paris
P. quadrifolia
Binomial name
Paris quadrifolia
  • Paris pentafolia P.Renault
  • Paris trifolia P.Renault
  • Paris quadrifolia var. angustiovata D.Z.Ma & H.L.Liu
1885 illustration[2]

Paris quadrifolia, the herb-paris[3] or true lover's knot, is a Eurasian species of flowering plant in the family Melanthiaceae, although authorities formerly regarded it as part of the Liliaceae family. It is related to Trillium, with which it can be confused. Trillium, however, is generally 3-merous (3 leaves per whorl, 3 petals etc.), whereas Paris quadrifolia is 4-merous.[1]


Paris quadrifolia has solitary flowers with four or more very narrow greenish filiform (threadlike) petals, green petaloid sepals, eight stamens, and a round purple to red ovary in the center. The flower is borne above a single whorl of four or more stem leaves. It prefers calcareous soils and lives in damp and shady places, especially old established woods and streamsides. It occurs locally in temperate and cool areas throughout Europe and northern Asia from Spain to Yakutia and northern China, but is absent in the wild from the Americas, Africa and the southern hemisphere. In Britain it is more frequently found in the east of the country, but it is uncommon throughout its range.[1][4][5]

Each plant only produces one blueberry-like berry, which is poisonous, as are other tissues of the plant.[6] Paris quadrifolia poisonings are rare, because the plant's solitary berry and its repulsive taste make it difficult to mistake it for a blueberry.



  1. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  2. ^ Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany
  3. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  4. ^ Flora of China Vol. 24 Page 95 四叶重楼 si ye chong lou Paris quadrifolia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 367. 1753.
  5. ^ Altervista Flora Italiana, Uva di volpe Paris quadrifolia L.
  6. ^ Jacquemyn, Hans; Brys, Rein; Hutchings, Michael J. (July 2008), "Biological Flora of the British Isles: Paris quadrifolia L.", Journal of Ecology, 96 (4): 833–844, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2745.2008.01397.x

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