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Variegated Devil's Backbone

Posted by alabama_jan Zn8AL (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 14, 06 at 1:46

Someone just gave me some cuttings of Variegated Devil's
Backbone (Pedilanthus tithymaloides). I was reading information about it and it said that parts of it was poisonous. SDince I have pets in the house, I am concerned. Can anyone tell me which parts of the plant are poisonous?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Variegated Devil's Backbone

  • Posted by josh z8a AL (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 14, 06 at 11:08

Jan, This is a member of the Euphorbia family which has a white sap which can be a skin irritant, and even more dangerous if in eyes or mouth. I'm attaching a site which might help you decide if your animals might be at risk.

Just a note: I've raised one son, several house cats and an Amazon Parrot while growing the Pedilanthus and many other plants on the 'toxic' lists. A young animal needs careful watching, but mine generally sniffed a new plant then went back to nibbling the new shoots of Cyperus alternifolia which were preferred by my cats. I brought in Blueberry branches for my Parrot to chew. My son probably heard "No" for the first time in connection with my plants...grin.

Just my experience...but if you look over the lists, you'll see so many plants which have poisonous parts but are widely grown in our gardens and houses, and so many folks have pets, that most co-exist with no problem.

Good's hard sometimes to decide these things, isn't it? All this info wasn't easily available when I started growing fact I grew the Pedilanthus for years before identifying it! josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Toxic plants

RE: Variegated Devil's Backbone

  • Posted by raestr z8 Central Ala (My Page) on
    Fri, Jan 20, 06 at 12:54

I wouldn't worry about it. Azaleas are poisonous too. My dog ate an entire azalea bush that was probably 3'X 3' and it didn't bother him. But if doesn't stop eating my hydrangeas, I may kill him.


RE: Variegated Devil's Backbone

Can this plant be grown outdoors in Phoenix, in the shade.
My plant has outgrown its pot and I would like to put it outdoors. Thank you.

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