|Florida Plants: Poisonous Plants (3)|
|Florida Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222|
Keep a Poison Information Center number near your telephone. If you
suspect possible poisoning from a plant : Call the Poison Center
immediately at 1-800-222-1222! Remove all plant pieces
from mouth. Rinse mouth and lips with cool water. Offer sips of water to
drink. Wash hands with soap and water. If asked to go to the emergency
room take part of the plant, seeds, or berries with you to aid
Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)- It's common around Christmas time for people to warn one another about the alleged toxicity of poinsettias. Poinsettia's have had a long history of tales on how toxic it is. The truth is The ASPCA Animal Poison Center in Urbana, Illinois says it regards poinsettias as having such low toxicity risk that it doesn't even recommend decontaminating animals that may have ingested them. The center says that there can sometimes be gastrointestinal distress from having ingested something alien to the digestive system. in Fact a 50 pound child would have to ingest 500-600 poinsettia leaves to be in danger of poisoning.
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)- Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are plants that can cause a skin rash called allergic contact dermatitis when they touch your skin. The red, uncomfortable, and itchy rash often shows up in lines or streaks and is marked by fluid-filled bumps (blisters) or large raised areas (hives). It is the most common skin problem caused by contact with plants (plant dermatitis).
Pothos (Epipremnum)-The pothos are tough, adaptable plants. Their climbing/trailing habit makes them extremely decorative and useful in a variety of settings, and their variegated forms add a type of interest not available with true philodendron. The entire pothos plant can be toxic, especially to animals. Signs of possible poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, redness and swelling, dermatitis, itching and burning of lips, tongue, mouth, and also throat. Pothos causes oral irritation, intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing. In birds can cause dysphagia, regurgitation, inappetence.
Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius)- Rosary Pea is native to Indonesia and grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world where it has been introduced, including Florida. The toxin present in Rosary Pea is a close relative to ricin called abrin. The toxin causes ingestion, specifically when chewed or split open rosary pea can cause severe symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, burning/corroding the esophagus, shock, multi-organ failure (liver, kidneys, respiratory failure)
Wild Mushrooms- Every mushroom hunter should be familiar with the three most dangerous groups of fungi. These are the amanitas, the false morels and a catch-all category known as little brown mushrooms (LBMS). Mushrooms in these groups cause virtually all the fatal mushroom poisonings in the United States, with amanitas alone accounting for 90 percent of mushroom-related deaths. There also are hundreds of other mushrooms that will cause anything from a mild stomachache to severe physical distress-including vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and loss of coordination. These pictures and descriptions will help you avoid them.
Amanita have one distinctive feature that makes them unique, but you'll have to get on your hands and knees to find it. All Amanitas have a bulbous base. Sometimes that bulge doesn't grow above ground, in which case, the actual mushroom will have to be dug out to inspect the base. The key to this is digging the entire mushroom out of the ground so the stem does not break above the bulge.
Morels are probably the most consumed mushroom that there is. Prized for their flavor, morels are instantly recognizable with their wrinkled caps and thick stems. Which is exactly what a false morel looks like. There are, however, two distinctive ways to determine which is which. The biggest distinction between the two is that real morels are spring mushrooms, and false morels generally come up later in the year. Which means, if you find a morel past mid-June, chances are it is going to be a false morel. On rare occasions, false morels will come up in the spring, and on equally rare occasions, real morels may come up later in the year. Real morels have caps that are attached to the stem. False morels have caps that aren't attached. To test a mushroom, try to run your pinky finger up the side of the stem and under the cap. On a real morel, your pinky will be positively stopped by the membrane that holds the cap securely onto the stem. On a false morel, your finger will travel beneath the cap nearly reaching the top. If that happens, don't eat it, it's a false morel.
The quintessential little brown mushroom is the galerina, or deadly galerina, as it is commonly referred to. They are primarily found on dead and downed wood or stumps, and more often than not, they form in clusters. Galerinas are very common, and contain the same toxins as Amanita; the difference is that they are small and do not readily resemble any kind of edible mushroom in appearance. Therefore, although deadly poisonous, just on sight alone, they are not very appealing, and are generally avoided as a matter of course. With that in mind, any and every little brown mushroom should be avoided and never ingested unless full spore and chemical tests are performed to make positive identification.
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