Thursday, November 20, 2008

Poison in the garden!

baby,babynme,parenting,desert rose,adenium obesum Recognise the plant and the flower above. This is a very common potted plant and flower found in many Malaysian homes especially with the Chinese. It's a beautiful plant, very hardy and if planted from the seed, it has a beautiful crafted trunk. This plant hence are often used to create artistic bonsai plants. Chinese like this plant in particular and has a beautiful name for it. In Cantonese, it is called `Foo Kwai Fah' (Flower of Prosperity).

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?

7 comments:

Leeyen said...

Oh! Thanks for the information! It's scary isn't it! We have it with us all along and we don't know it's dangerous!

Cookie said...

Thanks for sharing about this.
Who would've thought that this beautiful flower is dangerous?
This is indeed informative!

MeRy said...

Thanks alot for the info..I never do gardening & I don't think I have time to do so.

vickylow said...

Oh my mom has these quite a number in her garden. My dog is running freely in the garden too. But I think dog is smart to differential the poison plant. Sometime while walking my dog, she will eat some grass and puke out those flurry or dirty things (seems like curing herself)

Daddy said...

I was quite taken aback too as this plant goes way back to my childhood where my grandma also had pots and pots. I'm not worry about the pets because Vicky is right. Animals have a good sense of what is good to eat and what is not. I'm more worry about Ryan when he starts roaming the garden. Anyway, I'm not really a big fan of this plant.

And cookie, it's often the beautiful that kills in mother nature. Emmm...wonder that applies to ladies as well?

Bryan and Brandon's Mama said...

I didn't know either!! Thanks for letting me know. Will warn my mum and MIL also..

Unknown said...

The plant in your picture is NOT the Kwai Fah, it is the Dipladenia. Look it up. You are right, the dipladenia has a sticky substance. The Kwai Fah is a different plant with a tiny, sweet smelling, cream colored flower. I believe parts of kwai Fah are used to make tea in China?
Sorry, I don't want you to confuse the two. Thank you

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