Poisonous House Plants

Common names
Swiss-cheese plant
Split-leaf philodendron
Ceriman

Botanical name
Monstera deliciosa

Poisonous component
Calcium oxalate

Notes
The leaves can cause problems if chewed by humans or family pets. Experimental rats and mice died after they were fed plant extracts. General symptoms of poisoning are immediate and painful with aphonia (loss of voice), blistering, hoarseness, irritation of the mouth. 

Swiss-cheese plant is a popular container plant because of its ability to withstand the wide range of conditions encountered in the home and  office. To truly thrive Cerimans require high humidity, shade and a temperature above 20C / 72F

Flowering indoors is unusual but not unheard of and would certainly require the conditions mentioned above. The immature fruit is very high in oxalic acid and is quite dangerous to eat. The fruit takes up to a year to ripen and is similar to pineapple in flavor and texture.

It should be pointed out that Urticaria (an allergic disorder characterized by raised edematous (watery swelling) patches of skin) accompanied by intense itching can occur in sensitive individuals who ingest the ripened fruit.

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Cerimans are tough, durable home and office plants.

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

Poisonous House Plants
Air Cleaning House Plants
Introduction

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