Home > Study > Poisonous Plants


  Eco Pond | Eco Garden | Vegetable Garden | Fernarium | Desert Garden
 
Welcome to the Poisonous Plant Garden.

Not all plants are useful to us. Some plants can be harmful. For example, the pong pong tree. If you eat the fruit of this tree, you will fall ill or even die. However, it can be useful to us when we use it to poison rats. The allamanda plant (yellow flowers) is also harmful to us. You may have diarrhea if you eat any part of the plant. However, this plant is commonly used to beautify our environment.

If we look at all the plants planted at the poisonous garden (see virtual tour and have a look!), we will realise that all the plants have leaves. Most of the leaves are fleshy unlike those in the desert garden which are spiny. If we take one step further and use our magnifying glass to have a closer look at the leaves (remember to use gloves as the plants here are poisonous), we will see that the leaves have “pores” called stomata.

The underside of the leaves have more stomata than the other side.

Stomata are important for the exchange of gases between the outside air and intercellular spaces. The changes in the size of the stomata occurs in response to a variety of the external stimuli such as light, carbon dioxide concentration and water.

More information (for mainly primary 4 and 5)
Link: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/articles/stomata.html


Common Name
:
Pong Pong


Scientific Name
:
Cerbera odollam

Description:
This small tree comes from the coastal areas of the region. It is a common wayside tree. Leaves are simple and flowers are white. The single round fruits are green. With time, they turn pink, then black.

Poisonous parts: Seeds.

Effects: Very toxic to vertebrates.

Uses: The latex, roots, bark, leaves and seeds have been used at one time or another as a laxative.


Common Name:
Allamanda


Scientific Name
:
Allamanda cathartica

Description:
This ornamental climbing shrub is native to tropical America. The leaves are simple, in opposites or in whorls of 3 to 4. The flowers are large, yellow and showy. All parts of the plant have a white milky sap.

Poisonous parts: All plant parts.

Effects: Causes diarrhea and vomiting.

Uses: In the tropics, it is used as a purgative and to induce vomiting in low dosage, as in high dosage, it can be toxic.


Common Name:
Oleander


Scientific Name
:
Nerium oleander

Description:

These are ornamental shrubs planted for the colourful flowers. Some species of oleander such as the Nerium indicum, has scented flowers. The leaves are simple, stiff, leathery and sharply pointed. Flowers are yellow to rose-pink, red-purple or white. The fruit appear as long pods.

Poisonous parts: All plant parts.

Effects: Abdominal pain, diarrhea and nausea.

Uses: The leaves are used to treat scabies, induce sweating, vomiting and to expel phlegm from the respiratory passages. The dried flowers are used as a tonic.


Common Name:
Caladium


Scientific Name
:
Caladium bicolor

Description:
This attractive herb is a common ornamental plant in homes and garden. The leaves vary in colour from light yellow to green, enhanced further by green or red veins with red or white spots.

Poisonous parts: All plant parts.

Effects: Swelling, reddening and irritation of mouth, lips and tongue.

Uses: Act as an ornamental plant. Popular as a plant pot.


ImageCommon Name:
Croton


Scientific Name
:
Codiaeum variegatum

Description:
Croton is a common house plant. The leaf colours are eye-catching, from yellow, pink, red to even orange. Crotons are available in many different leaf colours and leaf shapes.

Poisonous parts: All plant parts.

Effects: The latex of this plant has caused eczema in some gardeners. Ingesting the bark or roots has caused burning and irritation of the mouth parts. Occasional eczema has been reported after repeated exposure to the latex (Morton 1962, Frohne and Pfander 1983).

Uses: Some young leaves are used in the East Indies as a vegetable, but cases of irritation have been reported.


Common Name:
Desert Rose


Scientific Name
:
Adenium obesum

Description:
This popular plant is a succulent-stemmed herb with few branches. The fleshy branches bear alternately arranged, simple, shiny leaves which are usually shed when flowering. The flowers are crimson red and trumpet-shaped.The plant flowers throughout the year.

Poisonous parts: Seeds, leaves and bark.

Effects: Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lowered pulse, irregular heart beat and dilated pupils.

Uses: Sun loving ornamental plant.


Common Name:
Butterfly Pea


Scientific Name
:
Clitoria ternatea

Description:
A native of Brazil, this attractive climber is planted for it bears attractive purplish flowers. These flowers are sometimes used as a food colouring. Its leaves are pinnate compound and its fruits are in the form of slightly inflated pods.

Poisonous parts: Seeds and roots.

Effects: Causes diarrhea when eaten in excess.

Uses: The leaves have been reported to be good for pimples and pustules. Water from the soaked leaves is used as an eye wash for eyes afflicted with a mild form of conjunctivitis. The roots are used in Indochina as purgative.


Common Name:
Golden Shower


Scientific Name
:
Cassia fistula

Description:
A native of Sri Lanka and India, the Golden Shower is a very colourful tree when it is full bloom. Its yellow flowers hang loosely in bunches. Its fruits are long, cylindrical and woody. The fruits will become black with maturity.

Poisonous parts: Flowers.

Effects:

Uses: The raw, black pulp found between the seeds along the pod is a popular remedy for constipation in a number of Asian countries. The bark and wood are used to treat dysentery while the leaves and roots are used as a laxative.


Common Name:
Giant Dumb Cane


Scientific Name
:
Dieffenbachia amoena

Description:
Dieffenbachias are robust evergreen herbs. Stems can grow to 1.5m tall. The leaves are glossy dark green and irregularly marked with white or yellowish-white patches, lines and spots along the side veins.

Poisonous parts: Sap and leaves.

Effects: The sap and leaves of these plants are poisonous and must not be allowed to come in contact with the mouth or eyes. The calcium oxalate crystals in the sap cause the mouth and throat to swell resulting in possible loss of speech for several days.

Uses: Act as an ornamental plant usually used indoor plants. These plants are very hardy and require minimum maintenance.


Common Name:
Devil's Backbone


Scientific Name
:
Kalanchoe diagremontiana

Description:
This is a tropical plant usually grown in pots and gardens. The simple leaves are variegated and the red and purple flowers are found at the terminal end of the stems. Both the stems and leaves will ooze a milky sap when damaged.

Poisonous parts: Leaves and stems.

Effects: Vomiting and abdominal pain, sap can cause skin irritation.

Uses: Act as an ornamental plant.


Common Name:
Yellow Creeping Daisy


Scientific Name
:
Wedelia trilobata

Description:
This creeping herb is commonly seen in gardens and roadsides due to its free-flowering characteristic. It is often cultivated as an ornamental plant. Its flowers are yellow and grows singly. The leaves have sharp-toothed margin. The fruits are very small.

Poisonous parts: All plant parts.

Effects: Toxic to mammals.

Uses: Act as an ornamental creeping plant.


Common Name:
Lantana, Bunga Tahi Ayam


Scientific Name
:
Lantana camara

Description:
This shrub is an attractive plant as it has brightly coloured flowers that are borne in clusters and are bi-coloured. Flowers include white, blue, purple, orange, yellow and lilac. The leaves grow singly and with a distinct odour when bruised.

Poisonous parts: Green berries (Lantana seeds when green).

Effects: Fatal. Affects lungs, kidney, heart and nervous system.

Uses: In Chinese medicine, a decoction of the plant is used as a bath for scabies and leprosy. The leaves are used in Indochina as a stimulant to expel intestinal worms and to increase menstrual flow. They are applied to ulcers, cuts and swellings in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.


  
Go back to the top of the page

 

Go back to the top of the page