poisonous plant


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poisonous plant,

any plant possessing a property injurious to man or animal. Plants may be poisonous to the touch (e.g., poison ivy, poison sumac), or orally toxic (e.g., poison hemlock, deadly amanita). Many poisonous plants are of great value medicinally, e.g., digitalis, belladonna, and aconite. Numerous plants have long been known and gathered (some from prehistoric times) for specific medicinal uses in controlled dosage. Some have been used for hunting poisons (e.g., strychnine) and for insecticides (e.g., pyrethrum). Some plants are poisonous in part and harmless otherwise (the leaf blades, not the stalks, of rhubarb are poisonous) or poisonous at one season and not at another (the very young poke, or pokeweed, shoot is sometimes cultivated as a green vegetable but the older plant is poisonous). Some plants contain properties that are poisonous only under certain conditions, such as those causing photosensitivity. While animals that feed on these plants (buckwheat and others) and are subsequently exposed to sunlight develop a serious skin disorder called photosensitization. A poisonous property (selenium) of some soils, particularly in parts of the West, is absorbed by some of the growing plants, not always in themselves poisonous, and transmitted to animals and sometimes to man. Since this poison is returned to the soil by the death of the plants and animals that have absorbed it, it is again available to other plants and may even be absorbed by crop plants. Locoweed is an example of a selenium-poisonous plant. Many of our ornamental plants are poisonous—larkspur, oleander, English ivy, and lily of the valley. Poisoning by ingestion of plants by human beings is usually a matter of mistaken identity, particularly with mushrooms. Poisonous plants are usually avoided by animals unless the pasture is overgrazed. Poisonous principles may be found throughout the plant kingdom from bacteria and fungi to ferns and flowering plants.

Bibliography

See W. C. Muenscher, Poisonous Plants of the United States (rev. ed. 1951); J. M. Kingsbury, Deadly Harvest: A Guide to Common Poisonous Plants (1965); K. F. Lampe and M. A. McAnn, AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants (1985); W. H. Blackwell, Poisonous and Medicinal Plants (1990).

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poisonous plant

[′pȯiz·ən·əs ′plant]
(botany)
Any of about 400 species of vascular plants containing principles which initiate pathological conditions in man and animals.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
When pregnant animals graze certain poisonous plants, the consequences can be especially gruesome - an offspring with twisted, deformed legs caused by toxins in lupine, or the bizarre, one-eyed lamb that can result when ewes eat false hellebore, a plant in the lily family.
Children are the most at risk from poisonous plants, since they may be attracted by their berries or seeds and eat them.
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There were about 62 poisonous plant species belonging to 60genera and 36families reported from the area, being utilized for various advantageous and disadvantageous purposes by ethnic groups and rural people.
Most common reason for presentation to emergency department was fear of consuming the poisonous plant. Most common presenting symptom was vomiting (67.74%) followed by abdominal discomfort (61.29%), convulsions (6.45), fever (9.6), altered mental status (9.6), and rash and itching (9.6%).
Meanwhile, another girl died and one is still in critical situation due to eating poisonous plant here on Thursday.
A MAN with depression died after downing a drink he made from a poisonous plant, an inquest heard.
Further, rapeseed is highly toxic; the oil is extracted with hexane, and even if one finds an "organic" canola, it's still extracted from a highly poisonous plant.
Thousands of Australian sheep are becoming "suicidal" after exhibiting drug addiction-like symptoms, apparently triggered by being addicted to a poisonous plant.
As death was suspected to be caused by a poisonous plant, samples of rumen contents from different strata, as well as a contaminating whole plant collected from one alfalfa bale, were taken for further analysis and kept in labeled polyethylene bags.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Researchers revealed that digoxin, the active ingredient in the poisonous plant Foxglove, can enhance the body's own protective mechanism against high blood pressure and heart failure.