I literally grew up with this plant as my mother loves the flower. We have pots and pots of these in the garden we grew up in. In fact, a friend gave us one as a house warming gift last year and it is doing pretty well and blooming well in our garden right now.
Know as the Desert Rose, this plant originates from Eastern Africa. Where rain is scarce, the plant's stem and root becomes its water reservoir. Vivid colours of the flowers ranges from light-pink to dark-red.
But lying beneath the charming and beautiful exterior flows a deadly poison. It is reported that the latex, root and milky seed contained a deadly poison. Bushman used the poison for the tips of their arrow while fishermen are reported to splash the branch into the water to make fishes dizzy and hence easy to capture. There are articles that suggested that this plant should be kept out of reach of children and animals. Besides being poisonous when ingested, the latex apparently could also cause skin and eye irritation.
I am shocked when I stumbled upon this information from my net surfing. To know that I am actually cultivating and growing such a poisonous plant in my garden where Ryan and Zoewe (toy poodle) will be running free is scary.
Needless to say, this plant is going with the dumpster tomorrow morning. Sincere apologies to the good friend who presented this gift to us but getting rid of it gives me a better peace of mind.
Do you have one somewhere in your home?