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Poisonous Plants

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					Poisonous
  Plants
 Derek Tilley
Plant Scientist
      USDA-NRCS
Plant Materials Center
     Aberdeen, ID
Many poisonous plants or
animals have harmless look-
alikes
•Monarch and Viceroy
Coral snake and
Scarlet King
snake
   Poison Ivy




•Leaves in 3’s
•Leaves have a “thumb”
                         •Turns red in fall
•Often a vine
•White berries
Look-Alikes?
•Shady areas, canyons,
•AZ to Canada to East
Coast
Poison
Oak
•3 lobed
leaves
•Woody shrub
or vine
•Glossy
leaves
•Red in fall
•Foothills
from Baja to
B.C.
Poison
Sumac
 •Woody shrub or
 small tree
 •Red in fall
 •Eastern states
Poison Ivy,
Poison Oak and
                 •   Toxins in oils
                 •   Anything touched is

Poison Sumac
                     contagious
                 •   Oils are broken
                     down by soap
                 •   Wash before oil
                     dries (10 to 20
                     minutes max.)
                 •   Wash hands
                 •   Wash clothing,
                     shoes
                 •   Do not burn! Oil
                     travels in smoke
                 •   Can not spread
                     from blisters
                 •   Treat with Calamine
                     Lotion
Poison Hemlock and Water Hemlock




 The suicide of Socrates 399 BC, Athens.
Poison Hemlock
     Poison Hemlock
Description                Symptoms
                           •Tremors
•Parsley or carrot-like
                           •Loss of muscle
leaves
                           control
•Clusters of small white   •Seizures
flowers                    •Salivation
                           •Dilated pupils
•Reddish dots on stems
                           •Sweating
•Common in ditches,        •Ascending paralysis
streams and even           •Death
backyards in Idaho,
Utah and other states
Water hemlock
         Water Hemlock
Description                               Symptoms

•Clusters of small white                 •Nausea
flowers
                                         •Abdominal
•Cross section of root                   pain
shows chambers
                                         •Tremor
•Found in mountain
                                         •seizures
streams, springs,
ditches and ponds
throughout N. America
 *A single bite of the root, which contains the highest
 concentration of toxin, has been reported to kill an adult!
Giant Hogweed
    Giant Hogweed
Description                 Symptoms

•10 to 20 feet tall        •Plants exude clear
                           watery sap
•Clusters of small white
flowers                    •Sensitizes skin to
                           ultraviolet radiation
•Large leaves
                           •Sap + sun = infection,
•Introduced weed found     blisters and scarring
currently in Washington
State and the northeast.
May be moving to ID
Panhandle.
QUIZ
Death Camas   Sego Lily
           Death Camas
 Description                          Symptoms
•Many small cream to                  •Nausea
yellow flowers                        •burning of mouth
                                      and throat
•Grass or lily-like leaves
                                      •Salivation
•Valleys and foothills in             •muscular
western states                        weakness
                                      •Vomiting
                                      •Diarrhea
                                      •death
   *Often mistaken for sego lily by
   tuber hunters and scouts
Common House Plants
         Oleander

                                                      Symptoms
                                                        •Nausea
                                                        •Vomiting
                                                        •Accelerated or
                                                        slowed heartbeat
                                                        •Heart failure




All parts are very poisonous. One leaf is enough to cause death
Morning Glory
            Symptoms
            •Drowsiness
            •Nausea
            •Vomiting
            •Diarrhea
            •Numbness of extremities
            •Muscle tightness
            •Hallucinations
Dumbcane
Painful and immediate swelling
of the mouth and throat occurs
after chewing on dumbcane.
Speech impediment can occur,
sometimes lasting for several
days.
Avoid eye contact with the
juices which can result in
intense pain and swelling.
Symptoms
                       YEW
•Nausea
•Vomiting
•Increased
salivation
•Stomachache
•Diarrhea
•Sleepiness
•Shortage of breath
•Trembling
•Spasms
•Malfunction of the    All parts of the plant are poisonous.
heart which leads to   Reported poisonings caused by the
                       usage of yew utensils.
collapse and death
                               Rhubarb
During World War I rhubarb leaves were
recommended as a substitute for other veggies that
the war made unavailable. Apparently there were
cases of acute poisoning and even some deaths. Some
animals, including goats and swine, have also been
poisoned by ingesting the leaves.

   Symptoms
   difficulty breathing
   burning in the throat
   abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting,
   diarrhea
   Convulsions, coma
   death from cardiovascular collapse

From an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) for Oxalic acid,
LD50 in rats is 375 mg/kg. So for a person about 145 pounds
that's about 25 grams of pure oxalic acid required to cause
death. Rhubarb leaves are probably around 0.5% oxalic
acid, so that you would need to eat quite a large serving of
leaves, like 11 lbs, to get that 24 grams of oxalic acid.
Note : it will only require a fraction of that to cause
sickness.
 Symptoms

                          Rosary Pea
 excess salivation,
 colic, vomiting,
 diarrhea and
 dehydration, develop
 several hours after
 ingestion. Body
 temperature may rise
 to 104° F.
 Hyperexcitability and
 convulsive seizures
 are seen before death.




Toxins are released
only if the seed is
chewed and
swallowed. As little as
0.00015% body weight
will cause fatality in
humans.
Poinsettia???
MUSHROOMS
  Symptoms
    •Feeling sick
    •Stomach cramps
    •Vomiting
    •Watery or bloody diarrhea
    •Liver failure
    •Death



Symptoms may show up
immediately, or may appear
several hours later. Often when
symptoms finally occur, liver
damage is irreversible.
    “Edible” Wild Plants
 Almost all have a poisonous look-alike relative
 Most need to be boiled or soaked or roasted to
 get out toxins
 Acorns, elderberry, cactus, thistle and many
 others




So what plants are safe to eat?

				
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