The best one circulating here in Malaysia is that the pollen
alone is enough to cause death in adult huans. I know of NO science whatsoever
to back-up these claims.
email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On
Behalf Of ExoticRainforest
Sent: Monday, 17 May, 2010 6:23 AM
To: Discussion of aroids
Subject: [Aroid-l] The ZZ plant (Zamioculcus zamiifolia) is so poisonous
it can poison the pot? Can someone provide a source for this claim?
wild claim that the African aroid Zamioculcas zamiifolia is a
terribly poisonous plant now finding its way into my mailbox and on some
internet plant forums on a regular basis. The claims include the roots
make a ceramic pot so poisonous you should not handle it! If you know the
source of this rumor will you please post it? If it is based in science,
I cannot find it and am growing weary of trying to answer the emails.
I have been collecting scientific articles on calcium oxalate crystals as it
relates to aroids for several years and have yet to find any that state it is a
poison. Certainly, it can be very painful to your mouth and throat if
eaten in some cases but the substance is found in many foods we all eat.
Julius has written many times about this subject but this rumor appears to be
getting out of hand.
In my experience, the "poison" thing is almost totally a myth. For
some unknown reason lots of internet sites like to claim all aroids are
"deadly poisonous" which has scientifically proved to be bogus as far
as I can read. The Chinese began eating aroids over 10,000 years ago and they
are eaten today throughout the world including most of SE Asia, India, all of
Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Even the so called
"deadly" young leaves of Dieffenbachia are cooked and eaten by
the Huao (Waorani) Indian tribe in Ecuador.
People all over the world eat many aroids all the time and there have
been only a couple of scientifically cases of "aroid poison" due to
calcium oxalate crystals but those also appear to have other related causes. I
guarantee you eat the stuff every single day. The same calcium crystals are
found in Parsley, Chives, Cassava, Spinach, Beet leaves, Carrot, Radish,
Collards, Bean, Brussels sprouts, Garlic, Lettuce, Watercress, Sweet potato,
Turnip, Broccoli, Celery, Eggplant, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Cabbage, Tomato,
Pea, Turnip greens, Potato, Onion, Okra, Pepper, Squash, Cucumbers, Corn and
Now, I may be dead wrong on Zamioculcas zamiifolia but I would like to
hear some sound science to back up the claim. If you know the source of
this new rumor or can comment scientifically as to why it should be or should
not be stated the beautiful little plant is able to poison its own pot.
Please, would one of our scientists give us some good science on the
subject, I would really like to read more.
I really believe it is time the IAS helps to put out some real science on this
subject to curb all the junk "science" on the internet.