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WARNING: The Deadly House Plant That Can Kill In Under a Minute

If children or animals ingest even a tiny piece of the leaf of this plant the tongue may swell to the point of suffocation. We all of us from time to time leave our children home in the hands of the trusted folk, so we should certainly provide them a safe environment.


Dieffenbachia is a type of house plant with large, colorful leaves. Poisoning can occur if you eat the leaves, stalk, or root of this plant.

The symptoms of poisoning are:

  • Burning in mouth or throat
  • Damage to cornea of the eye
  • Diarrhea
  • Eye pain
  • Hoarse voice
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swelling in mouth or tongue

If ingested, wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Rinse your eyes and skin well if they touched the plant. Give milk to drink and call the National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222).  It can be reached from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.

This plant is common in Kenya , Rwanda, and Uganda.  It can be found in plant nurseries, many offices and homes in the UK and the US.

It should be uprooted from gardens and taken out of offices. Do not touch your eyes after handling this plant. It can cause partial or permanent blindness.

Please alert your friends and family by sharing this article!


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Posted by on July 8, 2015. Filed under FAMILY/ADVICE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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2 Responses to WARNING: The Deadly House Plant That Can Kill In Under a Minute

  1. Marsha Woerner Reply

    July 8, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    The other common name for this plant is “dumb cane”. I had a fairly large one when I was in college. I know that the previous residents of my room wandered in one day, having forgotten that they had been kicked out of the dorm (whole story in and of itself), and chewed on my plant, desiring the numbness of their tongues granted by the dieffenbachia. But they were (theoretically) adults! I think the plant had died by the time that I got my cat two years later. Had it not, I wouldn’t have been a lot more careful after Fargo arrived – he decimated my collection of houseplants! But I did know that dieffenbachia was poisons!

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