poisonous plant

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

poisonous plant

poisonous plant, any plant possessing a property injurious to man or animal. Plants may be poisonous to the touch (e.g., poison ivy, poison sumac), or orally toxic (e.g., poison hemlock, deadly amanita). Many poisonous plants are of great value medicinally, e.g., digitalis, belladonna, and aconite. Numerous plants have long been known and gathered (some from prehistoric times) for specific medicinal uses in controlled dosage. Some have been used for hunting poisons (e.g., strychnine) and for insecticides (e.g., pyrethrum). Some plants are poisonous in part and harmless otherwise (the leaf blades, not the stalks, of rhubarb are poisonous) or poisonous at one season and not at another (the very young poke, or pokeweed, shoot is sometimes cultivated as a green vegetable but the older plant is poisonous). Some plants contain properties that are poisonous only under certain conditions, such as those causing photosensitivity. While animals that feed on these plants (buckwheat and others) and are subsequently exposed to sunlight develop a serious skin disorder called photosensitization. A poisonous property (selenium) of some soils, particularly in parts of the West, is absorbed by some of the growing plants, not always in themselves poisonous, and transmitted to animals and sometimes to man. Since this poison is returned to the soil by the death of the plants and animals that have absorbed it, it is again available to other plants and may even be absorbed by crop plants. Locoweed is an example of a selenium-poisonous plant. Many of our ornamental plants are poisonous—larkspur, oleander, English ivy, and lily of the valley. Poisoning by ingestion of plants by human beings is usually a matter of mistaken identity, particularly with mushrooms. Poisonous plants are usually avoided by animals unless the pasture is overgrazed. Poisonous principles may be found throughout the plant kingdom from bacteria and fungi to ferns and flowering plants.

See W. C. Muenscher, Poisonous Plants of the United States (rev. ed. 1951); J. M. Kingsbury, Deadly Harvest: A Guide to Common Poisonous Plants (1965); K. F. Lampe and M. A. McAnn, AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants (1985); W. H. Blackwell, Poisonous and Medicinal Plants (1990).

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

poisonous plant
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.