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  Dieffenbachia and skin rash
From: "Derek Burch" <derek at horticulturist.com> on 2004.06.01 at 01:29:29(11541)
I have had a question about the possibility of a 2-year old child getting a
skin rash that has lasted three weeks from walking barefoot over carpet on
which a large dieffenbachia plant in a pot had sat for some years. The
carpet was steam cleaned a few weeks before the rash began (I leap to the
defense of the plant and blame the cleaner!)
I can't imagine enough sap dropping to the carpet and surviving steam
cleaning so as to present raphides to the child ...

Any comments, please. derek

From: "Peter Boyce" <peterboyce at myjaring.net> on 2004.06.01 at 02:54:51(11542)
Hi Derek

Quite possible; I know someone locally that cannot approach Philodendron
without itching and Dieffenbachia is a far nastier plant, chemically, than


From: Betsy Feuerstein <ecuador at midsouth.rr.com> on 2004.06.01 at 03:24:08(11543)
Speaking as one who has problems with both, yes, one can get a nasty
difficult to heal rash from both philodendron and less so
fromDieffenbachia. I can not work in my greenhouse cutting up philos
without have what looks like poison ivy appear within 24 hours. It takes
weeks or months to get such to go away. I have made trips to the
dermatologist with such welts in February when no self respeciting
poison ivy would be with leaves only to have it diagnosed as poinson
ivy. Right............ it was the sap from the philodendrons I had cut
up. Dieffs got their bad rep when years ago I was potting up imported
cuttings of such. Each one had sawdust mixed with sand in a piece of
paper wrapped around the cut end and fastened with rubber bands. Each
time I popped the paper off, small grains of sand would hit me. In time,
I thought a thousand ants were crawling all over me. Not fun.........
this did not last too long. In Asia I found cleaning some plants the
thousand ant syndrome happened also.

Good growing to all........

From: "Julius Boos" <ju-bo at msn.com> on 2004.06.01 at 08:57:10(11544)
Reply-To: aroid-l@lists.ncsu.edu
Subject: [aroid-l] Dieffenbachia and skin rash
Date: Mon, 31 May 2004 21:29:29 -0400

Dear Derek,

Where did the child get the rash (what area of the body?). This can be a
real nasty plant, I have an actual fatality from one bite into a stem from
Trinidad, she turned out to be the sister of a friend, the one our parents
used as an example as they constantly warned us of the danger of being near
this plant. I gave Tom the particulars a while ago, name, age, etc.
Dieff. is not to be trifiled with, that`s for sure.
Good Growing,

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