Re: Dieffenbachia pollenation

Walter Turner wrote:

> I also know the
>stories of the use of "dumb cane", which I have always suspected to be
>myths, though it doesn't matter, as the point is real enough. Has anyone
>ever determined for sure whether it is just oxalic acid, or are other
>chemicals responsible?  I am careful, and I don't keep children or pets =
>the house.

Oxalis acid and calcium oxalate crystals in the form of raphides are
responsible for the severe irritation caused by the sap.  When in
contact with sensitive skin or mucous membranes through ingestion,
these raphides can cause rapid and dramatic localised swelling.


David Poole

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