Dumb-Cane

Dieffenbachia

Dumb-Cane


Dumb-canes are very popular houseplants. Eating the leaves or stems can damage the mouth and throat, making the victim unable to speak. Pets are also affected. The symptoms are burning sensations and irritation of the mouth, lips and tongue. Pronounced swelling restricts tongue movement, swallowing and breathing for up to several days. This effect is said to be due to fine crystals of calcium oxalate, but probably involves some other toxic substance as well.