We all love plants for the beauty and air purification they can bring into our homes and offices, but did you know that green hue doesn’t always mean “healthy”? On the contrary, one of the most popular ornamental plants is actually super-toxic and scarily fast-acting. Cuisine and Health raises the alarm about the tropical plant called “Dieffenbachia.”
This perennial is popular for its shade-tolerance and pretty, white-spotted leaves, but it’s also popularly known as “Dumb Cane” and the “mother-in-law plant” – ouch! – for its poisonous calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause the inability to speak, numbness, burning, swelling and other scary symptoms when ingested. In children and pets, the effect is even scarier, as Cuisine and Health shares:
I almost lost my daughter, she put part of the leaf of the plant in the mouth! Her tongue becomes huge and she started to choke! Here is this plant and you keep in mind that there are other similar potted plants with almost the same characteristics, which are also poisonous [. . .] Be very careful when you leave your child in the home of someone to keep them. Provide them a safe environment where they can play.
The last point is the most important one— as always, we should teach our kids to be mindful of their environments and not to chew random plants. If we’d like to err on the side of safety, then it might be a good idea to get the Dieffenbachia out of the house! Learn more about the plant here, and let us know what you think!