Return to the Garden Junk Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Posted by goldenpond (V.B.FL 9b) (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 13, 08 at 13:16

Just wanted to add a word of warning to all you garden junkers using plants in your crafts.On the Florida Gardening Forum one of our posters stated that while whacking at some Elephant Ears a bug flew in her mouth and she grabbed at it.Unfortunately the insect did no harm but the Elephant Ear toxins got the best of her and she is in excruciating mouth and throat pain. Always be careful in the garden as many plants can cause injury or burning to eyes,nose mouth and skin.
On the butterfly forum I remember someone who rubbed her eyes after harvesting some milkweed for her caterpillars. She nearly lost the sight of that eye.
While gardening is heaven on earth we must be careful to not let our guard down and end up with injuries from our hobby!
Always wash hands and do not touch your face until you have done so.Teach the kids and grandkids that rule along with the garden fun and we can all live healthy ever after.
Here is an exerpt about the ingredient calcium oxalate in E-Ears that she shared:

"Even a small dose of calcium oxalate is enough to cause intense sensations of burning in the mouth and throat, swelling, and choking. In larger doses, however, calcium oxalate causes severe digestive upset, breathing difficulties and if enough is consumed convulsions, coma and death. Recovery from severe oxalate poisoning is possible, but permanent liver and kidney damage may have occurred.

The stalk of the Dieffenbachia produces the most severe reactions. These needle-like crystals produce pain and edema when they contact lips, tongue, oral mucosa, conjunctiva, or skin. Edema primarily is due to direct trauma from the needle-like crystals and, to a lesser extent, by other plant toxins (e.g. bradykinins, enzymes)."


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Thank You, I did not know these things...


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

I knew Elephant Ears were toxic,and have been around them since I was a kid, but I didn't know they caused skin irritation until I started peeling some off the concrete cast. It felt like I had Fiberglas fibers in my fingers--prickly & itchy. As soon as I washed my hands, it went away. I'm glad I didn't rub my eyes.


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Thanks for the info. Many plants that we deal with daily can be very danderous, we just don't know it. Always pays to be careful anytime we do out door work.


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

I'm assumming that dogs (pets) are also at risk? I had hoped to plant some next spring around a planned pond. However with a small poodle and yorkie I may have to find a substitute. Also have an itch to try making the concrete leaves someday.

Susie


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Wow! Thank YOU! I was just inquiring on the Pa. site about whacking the leaves and stems off for winter storage. I will now use some disposable gloves for that job! WHEW!


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Also another thing Sago Palms are EXTREMELY poisonous to dogs, Im not sure about people but just thought Id let the dog lovers on the forums know.


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Wow. Thanks for the info. I think I'm glad I don't have any Elephant Ears in my garden......


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Wow! Thank You for this information, I love Elephant Ears as a matter of fact I have them growing right now! I will be very careful with them and make sure my grandbabies do not get injured. I will be wearing my garden gloves for sure!


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

Golden, thanks for posting this warning! Diffenbacia (dumb cane), philodendron are a couple of common house plants that are toxic. Pencil cactus, & so many more!

I love my 2 different species of elephant ears, but they are way down back where the grandkids are never unsupervised. Same with my houseplants, I have some toxic ones, and just try to make sure the kids are never unattended around them. And I try to keep them where they're not easily attainable by them.

Anyhow ... I always wear gloves when gardening. Always! (for 30+ years now) And I've never gotten poison oak or ivy rashes or anything like that. Good fitting leather gloves are best. They last for years, and are like a true second skin. Worth the investment. They have kept my hands from getting cut or injured outside so many times.

Be safe and don't be eating or handling any plants that you're not sure about, and watch the kids & pets! Take precautions by using clothing and gloves when handling. Watch out rubbing your eyes, etc after handing them too. Always wash up really good after playing in the dirt!

Now as for bugs flying into your mouth outside ... yep stuff like that can happen! I've got a friend who had a bug fly into his ear when we were sitting around a swimming pool outside one night ... it's funny to think of him stomping the floor board in the car everytime the bug would move in his ear when we were on the way to the hospital LOL! but I'm sure he didn't think it was funny at all! Awww, sweet memories lol ~tenderlee :-)


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

I pretty much treat every plant as poisonous because you just never know. Though I love to garden with bare hands, I now wear gloves just in case and keep a golf towel attached to my belt loops in case I do need to wipe my face and eyes. Always good to remind everyone now and then.


 o
RE: WARNING Elephant ears and other dangerous plants

I just slashed the growth off my Elephant Ear and pulled the bulb (it's about 6" in dia)for storage until spring. I got all kinds of sap or liquid on my hands but no known ill effects. Luck is still on my side, I guess. Thanks or the warning!


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Garden Junk Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here