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Devil’s Ivy: a climbing vine with large heart-shaped leaves that are usually streaked with yellow. The whole plant is toxic and causes a burning sensation in mouth when eaten and dermatitis when touched.
Dumb Cane: tall, erect plants with large oblong leaves splotched with ivory markings. The leaves are toxic and chewing on leaves produces immediate and intense pain followed by swelling of mouth.
Jerusalem Cherry: an ornamental houseplant that has bright red berries about size of cherries. The leaves and berries are toxic and causes a burning sensation in mouth and throat, followed by gastric irritation and fever if ingested.
Philodendron: climbing vines with aerial roots and heart-shaped leaves. The leaves are toxic and cause painful burning of lips, mouth, tongue, and throat if ingested. Contact dermatitis is also common and can be dangerous to animals if ingested.
Children under age of six are at greatest risk for accidental poisoning. They are curious by nature and often investigate their surroundings by putting things in their mouths. Obviously, best prevention of plant poisonings is to teach your child to avoid plants that are dangerous to touch and to resist urge to taste even most tasty looking berries and sweet smelling flowers. Below are five more suggestions to help you and your family avoid possible plant poisonings:
1. Learn names (common and scientific) of all plants in your home, garden, and landscaping and know which ones are poisonous. Make a list of these plants and keep it handy in case of an accidental poisoning.
2. Put all poisonous houseplants out of reach of children and pets.
3. Stored labeled bulbs and seeds out of reach of children and pets.
4. Do not use flowers or other plant materials for food decorations or in cooking unless they are labeled “edible”.
5. Don’t assume a plant is safe because birds or other wildlife eat it.
No matter how careful we are, accidents can and do happen. It is important to place Poison Control Hotline phone number (800-222-1222) near telephone so you can reach them quickly in event of an accidental poisoning. To better assist poison experts, you will need common and/or scientific name of plant in question. If at any time you are in doubt about a particular houseplant, take it to your local nursery or garden center for identification and what possible toxic characteristics plant may have. Finally, above lists name just a few of non-toxic and toxic plants that exist today. You should consult appropriate reference books or poisonous plant guides for a complete list. To research non-toxic and toxic plants on internet, visit www.poison.org or visit www.vth.colostate.edu/poisonous_plants/report/search.cfm.
Lesley Dietschy is the creator/editor of The Home Decor Exchange, a popular home decor, garden decor, and home improvement website. Please visit the website for quality resources, articles, ideas, tips, decorating pictures, free projects, and much more. The website also has a shopping marketplace and a unique Gallery featuring Pine Needle Baskets and Gourd Art. http://www.HomeDecorExchange.com