Top 10 Poisonous Plants
Gloriosa superba -- flame lily
Gloriosa superba — the flame lily
“Pet poisonous” – Toxic to Dogs
Gloriosa superba, also known as the flame lily plant, is poisonous, toxic enough to cause human and animal fatalities if ingested. It has been used to commit murder, to achieve suicide, and to kill animals. Every part of the plant is poisonous, especially the tuberous rhizomes.
As with other members of the Colchicaceae, this plant contains high levels of colchicine, a toxic alkaloid. It also contains the alkaloid gloriocine. Within a few hours of the ingestion of a toxic amount of plant material, a victim may experience nausea, vomiting, numbness, and tingling around the mouth, burning in the throat, abdominal pain, and bloody diarrhea, which leads to dehydration.
As the toxic syndrome progresses, rhabdomyolysis, ileus, respiratory depression, hypotension, coagulopathy, haematuria, altered mental status, seizures, coma, and ascending polyneuropathy may occur. Longer-term effects include peeling of the skin and prolonged vaginal bleeding in women. Colchicine is known to cause alopecia.
One case report described a patient who accidentally ate the tubers and then experienced hair loss over her entire body, including complete baldness. Poisonings can occur when the tubers are mistaken for sweet potatoes or yams and eaten. The plant can be dangerous for cats, dogs, horses, and livestock, as well.
Gloriosa superba is a perennial herb growing from a fleshy rhizome. It is scandent, climbing using modified leaf-tip tendrils, the stem reaching 4 m (13 ft) long. The leaves are mainly alternately arranged, but they may be opposite, as well. They are somewhat lance-shaped and tipped with tendrils, and they are up 13 to 20 cm (5.1 to 7.9 in) long. The showy flower has six tepals each up to 5 to 7.6 cm (2.0 to 3.0 in) long. They are generally bright red to orange at maturity, sometimes with yellowish bases. The margins may be quite wavy.