Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily)

How is it harmful?

How is it that these beautiful flowers are toxic? Zantedeschia aethiopica is one of the many members of the Araceae family that is poisonous. This particular flower is especially harmful to dogs and cats when consumed. While toxic in its raw form, this flower can be boiled and consumed despite its toxicity. Its leaves have also been used to cure headaches. So this plant can't be that bad, right?

The whole portion of Z. aethiopica are toxic, and only in its raw form. Within the plant are small bundles of calcium oxalate crystals known as raphides. Once ingested these raphides are known to damage cells in the mouth. After many experiments and studies, it is now thought that raphides are only used as a means of delivering a chemical into the skin. These chemicals may include kinins and histamines.            

Symptoms may include:
-Immediate pain and irritation after consuming plant
-Swelling in the mouth and/or throat                                                         
-Secondary dehydration
-Intense salivation
-Electrolyte imbalance and shock are possible                                                         
-In extreme cases irregular heart beat, coma, and possibly death

-Rinse mouth immediately, oral calcium has been known to relieve pain.
-IV fluids if dehydration persists
-Seek help.
Signs should clear up within 2-4 hours after treatment.

These flowers have raphides in order to deter predators from eating them. Can you blame them for wanting a little taste of this gorgeous flower?

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