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Alternative names

Poisoning caused by consumption of plant material from the Caladium plant.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • oxalic acid
  • asparagine
  • a protein found in this plant
Note: Leaves and stems are the most dangerous if eaten in quantity.

Where Found

  • caladium esculentum
  • caladium bicolor
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole
    • burning in mouth
    • swelling of tongue
    • swelling of mouth
  • eyes, ears, toes, and throat
    • burning in throat
  • gastrointestinal
    • nausea and/or vomiting
    • diarrhea

Home Treatment

Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth, and give milk to drink. Call Poison Control for more treatment information.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • the patient's age, weight, and condition
  • the name of the plant and the parts eaten
  • the amount swallowed
  • the time it was swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Bring the plant with you to the emergency room for identification.

What to expect at the emergency room

  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

Oxalate plants may cause swelling severe enough to block the airway, but this is very rare.

Update Date: 2/23/2004

Cherlin Johnson, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT