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  The ZZ plant (Zamioculcus zamiifolia) is so poisonous
From: Peter Boyce <phymatarum at googlemail.com> on 2010.05.16 at 22:24:11(21075)
The best one circulating here in Malaysia is that the pollen
alone is enough to cause death in adult huans. I know of NO science whatsoever
to back-up these claims.

Peter

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From: Theodore Held <oppenhauser2001 at gmail.com> on 2010.05.17 at 12:24:43(21078)
Steve,

Just a quick check on Google ("Zamioculcas" and "poison") did not find anything substantive. As far as I can tell, this appears to be hysteria.

Remember, there is poison, and then there is poison. Establishing what is "poisonous" requires fairly sophisticated science. Then, it is necessary to establish at what level the "poison" will cause some adverse condition. Needless to say, if such a study had ever been done there would be something discoverable on the 'net. Since I don't see anything except hearsay and gossip, my conclusion is that this is unverifiable.

Of course, someone might give it a try on their cat. Make her eat a leaf or two and see what happens. Maybe it will cause severe pain, but not such that results in death. On the other hand, maybe the beast will keel over instantly. In either case we have data and can reliably warn people off.

No cat? Not willing to try an inhuman test? In that case we have to fall back on the experience of numerous hobby growers over the years. Has anyone ever had an adverse reaction? No? If that is true (and I suspect it is true) then we know that Zamioculcas is probably not that bad. It's not like Zamioculcas is the rarest plant in the world. So there is a decent amount of experience without pathological effects. That is my data point. I challenge others to come up with more.

Naturally, we often find that even minute amounts of the billions of substances in the world turn out to have bad effects and it might be that Zamioculcas will turn out to be such a source. But in order to find that out even more research would need to be done. Such might be warranted should something turn up in or on a hobby grower. But it looks like even the preliminary studies have never been done. Accordingly, I think it is safe to say that poisoned pots is a product of a hyperactive imagination. If someone has real data contary to this conclusion I will be more than happy to change my mind.

Ted Held

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From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at ExoticRainforest.com> on 2010.05.22 at 06:36:06(21085)
Great response Ted! My feelings exactly.

Steve

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