Aroids forum: Aroid Toxicity

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Name: Aaron
New York (Zone 7a)
Dec 8, 2017 8:18 PM CST
Hello all!
I'm just curious if anyone has anecdotal experience with the toxicity of aroids.
Are these plants actually as poisonous as they say they are (i.e. Pothos, Dieffenbachia, Anthurium, Spathiphyllum)

Also, I have read that all of these plants can produce skin irritation upon contact. I am frequently touching the leaves of all of these aroids and have never had skin irritation. Just curious if anyone has experienced this. nodding Thanks all .
Name: Evan
Pioneer Valley south, MA, USA (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Aroids Irises I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tropicals Vermiculture
Foliage Fan Bulbs Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Composter Plant Database Moderator
Dec 8, 2017 10:39 PM CST

Plants Admin Emeritus

Hi Aaron, many Aroids have calcium oxalate crystals, including in the sap. The crystals can cause skin irritation but I haven't experienced any effect from working with my plants. The ASPCA list several as toxic to various pets. Here's a good read:
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
Dec 8, 2017 11:20 PM CST
If I get Colocasia sap on my skin, I get a skin irritation that can last several days. At first the sap burns slightly. Even after washing, the skin gets very dry/chapped/red and extremely sensitive and remains that way for days. If I rinse the sap off immediately, then I can avoid any major issues, but even 5 minutes of exposure causes problems. The first time this happened, I had on gloves but the sap was hitting my wrist as I was pruning. I had a clear red/chapped line starting where the glove ended.

As long as the stems or leaves are intact, then I can touch them without issue. Smiling
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Dec 12, 2017 3:26 PM CST
Dermal reactions are very individual, as they are with most allergens. Not unlike poison ivy that can cause severe reactions for some while other folks get no reaction at all. It is very hard to generalize.
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
Contact me directly at [email protected]
I now have a book available on indoor plant care
Name: Aaron
New York (Zone 7a)
Dec 13, 2017 4:27 PM CST
Hmm I wonder what makes certain people prone to irritation from aroids...
Do you think that it is genetic? or is it because I have exposed myself to these so frequently that it no longer has an effect. I'm curious to know what experiences other aroid-fans have had.

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