A little warning about a common house plant

"With common names like Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and Dumbcane, you can be sure that this plant has an interesting story associated with it. A popular houseplant for over 150 years, the Dumbcane is native to South America where it is commonly found growing in tropical jungles, especially in Brazil. As members of the Arum family of plants (Araceae), all 30 members of the genus Diffenbachia, including the Dumbcane, count as close relatives such well-known plants as Philodendron, Pothos, Calla, Anthurium, Spathiphyllum, and Skunk Cabbage. The relationship between Dumbcane and Skunk Cabbage becomes very obvious when either plant is bruised. They both emit a skunk-like odor.


Undoubtedly the most intriguing characteristic of the Dumbcane relates to its common names. It has been known for over a century that the plant contains crystals of calcium oxalate, and if any part of it is eaten a sudden burning irritation and paralysis of the mouth, tongue, and lips will result. This usually prevents a person from talking for a while, which has led to the amusing common names. The ingestion of this plant, however, can have some serious consequences such as vomiting, diarrhea, and intense salivation. Death has been reported to occur when tissues at the back of the tongue and throat swell and block air passage."

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And do not forget! The Manzanilla Apple is very poisonsous! Do not touch the apple or the leaves. Do not stand under the tree when it is raining or still dripping from a rainfall.

The apple and leave.

A Manzanilla Forest (Ascencion).