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Edmon Low Library

IEATPLANTS Living Laboratory: Toxic Plants

At the William E. Brock Memorial Library. This is a class document used for the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences at the Oklahoma State University's third year DVM students' toxicology class (VMED 7533, Morgan).

Agave

Agave plant image

Scientific Name

Agave sp.

Family Name

Agavaceae

Toxic Principle

Sap from the leaves; Seeds; Calcium oxalate raphides; Acrid volatile oils; Mechanically injurious

Clinical Signs

Oral mucosa irritation; Contact urticaria; Skin: Immediate burning, erythema, urticaria, and edema; Granule

Aloe

Aloe vera plant image

Common Name

Aloe; Barbados Aloe; Torch Plant

Scientific Name

Aloe sp.

Family Name

Liliaceae

Toxic Principle

Homonatoloin; Aloin; Dried juice [latex]; Anthraquinones barbaloin; Anthraquinone or Anthracene glycosides

Clinical Signs

Vomiting; Diarrhea; Red urine; Skin irritation; Kidney inflammation

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus fern plant image

Common Name

Sprengeri Fern; Lace Fern; Asparagus Fern

Scientific Name

Asparagus cetaceus

Family Name

Liliaceae

Toxic Principle

Non-toxic; Berries; Sapogenins; Foliage

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis; Irritant; Cardiac, sedative, and diuretic effects

Castor Bean

Castor bean plant image

Common Name

Castor Bean; Castor; Castor Oil Plant; palma Christi; Wonder Tree; Higuerilla; Steadfast

Scientific Name

Ricinus communis

Family Name

Euphorbiaceae

Toxic Principle

Leaves; Seeds; Ricin; Ricinin

Clinical Signs

Decrease blood pressure; Hypothermia; Decrease in blood glucose; Increase in serum hepatic enzymes: AST, ALT, LDH; Increase in BUN, calcium, phosphorous; Upset Stomach; Vomitting; Abdominal Pain; Nausea; Diarrhea; Anorexia; Trembling; Weakness; Sudden Collapse; Seizures; Exercise intolerance; Ataxia; Slight depression; Copious thick, ropy salivation; Thirst

Catnip

Catnip plant image

Common Name

Catmint; Catnip

Scientific Name

Nepeta

Family Name

Labiateae

Toxic Principle

Volatile oil

Clinical Signs

Odd behavior; Drowsiness; Disorientation

Crown of Thorns

Crown of Thorns plant image

Common Name

Christ Plant; Christ Thorn; Crown of Thorns

Scientific Name

Euphorbia milli

Family Name

Euphorbiaceae

Toxic Principle

Miliamines; Terpenes; Diterpenes; Alkaloidal esters of diterpenoid ingenol; Stems: the juice, leaves, and thorns

Clinical Signs

Eye irritation; Vomiting; Skin irritation; Diarrhea; Irritation to gastrointestinal tract

Dumb Cane

Dumbcain plant image

Common Name

Dumb Plant; Dumb Cane; Mother-in-law’s Tongue Plant

Scientific Name

Dieffenbachia sp.

Family Name

Araceae

Toxic Principle

Histamine poisoning; All parts: Leaves, stems, sap; Proteolytic enzymes; Calcium oxalate crystals; Other toxins

Clinical Signs

Swelling of throat; Impairment of speech; Excessive salivation; Pain and swelling of mouth; Skin rashes

English Ivy

English ivy plant image

Common Name

English Ivy; Common Ivy; Ivy

Scientific Name

Hedera helix

Family Name

Araliaceae

Toxic Principle

Saponin called hederin and hederagenin; Saponins; Leaves; Berries; Pentacyclic terpenoids

Clinical Signs

Nausea; Vomiting; Diarrhea; Convulsions; Skin rashes

Fiddle-Leaf Philodendron

Fiddle-leaf philodendron plant image

Common Name

Fiddle-leaf Philodendron; Tree Philodendron; Cut-leaf Philodenron

Scientific Name

Philodendron bipinnatifidum
(older name is P. Selloum)

Family Name

Araceae

Toxic Principle

Nephrotoxic; Entire Plant; Leaves; Oxalates; Calcium oxalate

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis; Excessive salivation; Red and swollen oral cavity; Pain, swelling, irritation to throat; Irritation and burning of mouth, lips, and tongue

Golden Pothos

Golden pothos plant image

Common Name

Devil’s Ivy ; Pothos; Golden Pothos

Scientific Name

Epipremnum aureum

Family Name

Araceae

Toxic Principle

Allergic reactions; Oxalic acid; Entire plant; Proteolytic enzymes; Calcium oxalate crystals

Clinical Signs

Vomiting; Diarrhea; Redness and swelling; Dermatitis; Itching and burning of lips, tongue, mouth, throat

Jade Plant

Jade plant image

Common Name

Jade Tree; Dollar Plant; Jade Plant

Scientific Name

Crassula sp.

Family Name

Crassulaceae

Toxic Principle

Leaves

Clinical Signs

Digestive upset; Nausea

Kalanchoe

Kalanchoe plant image

Common Name

Florist’s Kalanchoe; Kalanchoe; Palm Beach Belle

Scientific Name

Kalanchoe blossfeldiana

Family Name

Crassulaceae

Toxic Principle

Isoprene alkaloids; Cardiac glycosides; Cardiac bufadienolides; Bryotoxins; Non-toxic maybe

Clinical Signs

Labored respiration; Cardio-toxic effects; Excessive salivation; Digestive disturbance; Loss of interest in food and water

Oleander

Oleander plant image

Common Name

Oleander; ’OLIWA [Hawaii]; Rosa Laurel [Mexico]

Scientific Name

Nerium oleander

Family Name

Apocynaceae

Toxic Principle

Seeds; Vase water; Whole plant; Smoke from burning; Cardioactive glycosides

Clinical Signs

Diarrhea; Nausea; Vomiting; Slowing of heart-rate; Abnormal heart beat patterns

Peace Lilly

Peace lilly plant image

Common Name

Peace Lily; White Anthurium; Spathe Flower

Scientific Name

Spathiphyllum

Family Name

Araceae

Toxic Principle

Oxalic acid; Druses; Entire Plant; Raphides; Calcium oxalate crystals

Clinical Signs

Vomiting; Rashes; Redness and swelling; Irritation to digestive tract; Pain and burning of mouth, lips, tongue, and other oral surfaces

Pencil Tree Cactus

Pencil tree cactus plant image

Common Name

Finger Tree; Milk Bush; Indian Tree Spurge

Scientific Name

Euphorbia tirucalli

Family Name

Euphorbiaceae

Toxic Principle

Latex sap, euphorbol terpenes; Esters; Diterpenes; Entire Plant

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis; Gastritis; Conjunctivitis; Burning; Irritation; Diarrhea

Peperomia

Peperomia plant image

Common Name

Peperomia; Green-ripple Plant; Baby Rubber Plant

Scientific Name

Peperomia sp.

Family Name

Piperaceae

Toxic Principle

Leaves may be toxic; Low toxicity; Toxic alkaloids possible

Philodendron

Philodendron plant image

Common Name

Sweetheart Plant; Heart-leaf Philodendron; Parlor Ivy

Scientific Name

Philodendron scadens

Family Name

Araceae

Toxic Principle

Nephrotoxic; Entire Plant; Leaves; Oxalates; Calcium oxalate

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis; Excessive salivation; Red and swollen oral cavity; Pain, swelling, irritation to throat; Irritation and burning of mouth, lips, and tongue

Prickly Pear

Prickly pear plant image

Common Name

Bunny Ears Cactus; Rabbit Ears Cactus

Scientific Name

Opuntia sp.

Family Name

Cactaceae

Toxic Principle

Thorns; Barbs which encircle each glochidium

Clinical Signs

Domed papules; Erythema; Keratoconjunctivitis; Dermatitis; Corneal erosion

Red Emerald

Red emerald plant image

Common Name

Red Emerald

Scientific Name

Philodendron 'Red Emerald'

Family Name

Araceae

Toxic Principle

Irritant in leaves; Oxalic acid; Entire plant; Proteolytic enzymes; Calcium oxalate crystals

Clinical Signs

Redness and swelling; Vomiting; Diarrhea; Dermatitis; Itching and burning of lips, tongue, mouth, throat

Sago Palm

Sago palm plant image

Common Name

Sago Palm; Sago Cycas; Japanese Sago Palm

Scientific Name

Cycas revoluta

Family Name

Cycadaceae

Toxic Principle

Seeds; Foliage; Neurotoxic agent [amino acid]; Glycosides; Cycasin a carcinogenic, hepatotoxic chemical

Clinical Signs

Diarrhea; Liver damage; Vomiting; Increase in water intake; Nervous system depressants, drowsiness, coma, muscle paralysis

Sanseveria

Sanseveria plant image

Common Name

Snake Plant; Good-Luck Plant; Mother-in-law’s Tongue

Scientific Name

Sanseveria sp.

Family Name

Agavaceae

Toxic Principle

Entire plant; Leaves; Organic acids; Flowers; Hemolytic saponins

Clinical Signs

Nausea; Vomiting; Destruction of red blood cells; Dermatitis; Irritation to mouth, throat, gastrointestinal tract

Schefflera

Schefflera plant image

Common Name

Umbrella Tree; Starleaf; Australian Umbrella Tree

Scientific Name

Schefflera [a.k.a. Brassaia actinophylla]

Family Name

Araliaceae

Toxic Principle

Entire Plant; Saponins; Falcarinol; Calcium oxalate; Oxalic acid

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis; Vomiting; Leukopenia; Loss of coordination; Irritation of mouth, lips, tongue

Texas Mountain Laurel

Texas mountain laurel plant image

Common Name

Coral Bean; Mescal Bean; Texas Mountain Laurel

Scientific Name

Sophora secundiflora

Family Name

Fabaceae

Toxic Principle

Cytisine; Seeds; Quinolizidine alkaloids; Entire plant; Alkaloids similar to nicotine

Clinical Signs

Diarrhea; Vomiting; Falling down; Nausea; Neurologic disorder

Varigated Ficus

Variegated ficus plant image

Common Name

Variegated Ficus; Ficus; Variegated Weeping Fig

Scientific Name

Ficus benjamina ‘variegata’

Family Name

Moraceae

Toxic Principal

Non-toxic; Foliage; IgE mediated

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis; Asthma; Rhinitis; Conjunctivitis

Varigated Peperomia

Variegated peperomia plant image

Common Name

Baby Rubber Plant; Pepper Face; American Rubber Plant; Desert Privet

Scientific Name

Peperomia magnolialfolia variegata

Family Name

Piperaceae

Toxic Principal

Leaves; Alkaloids; Low toxicity - No known cases in humans, toxic to some animals; Non-Toxic

Wandering Jew

Wandering Jew plant image

Common Name

Wandering Jew; Inch Plant; Variegated Wandering Jew

Scientific Name

Tradescantia

Family Name

Commelinaceae

Toxic Principle

Unidentified irritant; Non-toxic; Possibly oxalate crystals

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis

[Red/Green Wandering Jew: Wandering Jew (Red/Green); Commelinaceae; Nontoxic]

Weeping Ficus

Weeping ficus plant image

Common Name

Weeping Fig; Benjamin Tree; Java Fig

Scientific Name

Ficus benjamina

Family Name

Movaceae

Toxic Principle

Non-toxic; Foliage; IgE mediated

Clinical Signs

Dermatitis; Asthma; Rhinitis; Itching of hands and arms; Conjunctivitis

Yucca

Yucca plant image

Common Name

Spineless Yucca; Soapweed; Spanish Bayonet

Scientific Name

Yucca sp.

Family Name

Agavaceae

Toxic Principle

Spines; Furostanols; Leaves; Saponins [steroidal]; Spirostanols – sarsasapogenin

Clinical Signs

Vomiting; Bloat; Diarrhea; Nausea; Mechanical damage