Dieffenbachia seguine,also known as Dumb Cane, is a species of Dieffenbachia native to the tropical Americas —from Southern Mexico, through Central America, to northern South America and Brazil.
It is also native to several Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico. The common name “Dumb Cane” refers to the poisoning effect of raphides, which can cause a temporary inability to speak. For this reason, it is also known as the “mother-in-law plant.” The Dieffenbachia plant was named by Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, director of the Botanical Gardens in Vienna, to honor his head gardener Joseph Dieffenbach (lived from 1796 to 1863).
Botanical description of the Dieffenbachia plant
Dieffenbachia seguine is a perennial herbaceous plant with straight stem, simple and alternate leaves containing white spots and flecks, making it very attractive as indoor foliage.
This perennial vegetal grows 3 to 10 feet in height, and 2 to 3 feet in width. The plant’s leaves are large and green, and often with beautiful variegated white patterns. It blossoms with showy white flowers.
Like with other Dieffenbachias, the sap of this plant is extremely toxic!
Cultivation of the Dieffenbachia plant
Dieffenbachia seguine has often been cultivated as an ornamental plant in temperate shady gardens and as a potted house plant. Cultivars emphasize different patterns of variegation.
Since Dieffenbachia seguine is a very beautiful plant, people keep it fondly in the corners of their homes or offices without knowing that its effects not only can be harmful for them, but they can also be lethal for them!
Terrifying and sometimes deadly effects of the Dieffenbachia plant
“I have already lost my angel 3 years of age. She mistakenly swallowed a piece of the poisonous plant. Her tongue became huge and she passed away within a few minutes. This poisonous plant snatched my child’s life, so I want to prevent more deaths owning to this, or to other similar toxic plants,” says a desperate mother who lost her child to this adorable-looking plant.
So, if you are in the habit of accommodating natural plants in your home, you should really know the facts about them. Obviously, they can be very dangerous for families, especially for children, for whom you have no idea what they are doing at home when left alone without parental supervision.
The cells of the Dieffenbachia plant contain needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystalscalled raphides. If a leaf is chewed, these crystals can cause a temporary burning sensation and erythema. In rare cases, edema of tissues exposed to the plant has been reported. In both children and pets, contact with the
Dieffenbachia plant (typically from chewing) can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, including intense numbing, oral irritation, excessive drooling, and localized swelling. In most cases, if symptoms are mild, they can be successfully treated with analgesic agents, antihistamines, or medical charcoal. Gastric evacuation or lavage is seldom indicated.
In patients with exposure to toxic plants, 70% are children younger than 5 years!
NOTE WEll THIS WARNING:
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