Poisonous House Plants

Common names

Botanical name
Chrysanthemum sp.

Poisonous parts
Leaves, stalks

Poisonous component
Arteglasin A

Some people will develop contact dermatitis after extended exposure to garden chrysanthemums. This is an occupational hazard of florists, nursery workers, and gardeners.

Chrysanthemums were grown in China as a flowering herb from around the 15th century BC and introduced to Japan around the 8th century AD. The flower appears significantly in both cultures. Chrysanthemums eventually made their way to Europe by the 17th century.

There are two basic groups of Chrysanthemums, the garden hardy varieties and the exhibition types. The garden hardy types are tough enough to over winter in colder climates, can support their own flowers, and withstand the elements of wind and rain. The exhibition types need a lot of TLC. Mums are further divided into 13 flowering forms: Reflex, Decorative, Pompon, Spoon, Irregular Incurve, Regular Incurve, Intermediate Incurve, Single/Semi-Double, Anemone, Quill, Spider, Brush & Thistle, Exotic.

Pyrethrins are an important insecticide that is extracted from the seed cases of Chrysanthemums.  Although they are harmful to fish they are far less dangerous to mammals and birds than many synthetic insecticides. Pyrethrins are readily biodegradable and do not accumulate in the environment. Pyrethroids are the synthetic versions of the natural source Pyrethrins.

This plant is also useful for purifying our air according to the NASA Clean Air Study.



Toxicity Information
Courtesy of:
Derek B. Munro
Biological Resources Program
Eastern Cereal and Oilseed Research Centre

Poisonous House Plants
Air Cleaning House Plants

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