Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dumb Cane

It's interesting to know how plants derive their names.
The dumb cane is grown for its showy foliage and is
popular in tropical gardens. But in its natural habi-
tat it lives on the forest floor of Central and South
America, where it is open to attack. For protection,
its leaves and stem are filled with razor- sharp
crystals of fast-acting poison.
If an animal tries to eat the leaves, the crystals
pierce the creature's mouth and the poison starts
to work. It inflames the inside of the mouth and
tongue, so that the animal finds it difficult to
People, too, make the mistake of sampling the dumb
cane's leaves. The victim may be unable to speak
for several hours, hence the plant's name.


Surya said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Is it Dieffenbachia? It's very common plant in my country.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Yes, it is. I've used the picture of the commonest variety but I've got two other varieties too, and they look less 'wild'!

Titania said...

This is a very interesting post about the "dumb cane". I grow them in my garden too.

Esther Montgomery said...

Dear Kanak

Thank you for including ESTHER IN THE GARDEN
in your list of Blotanical Favourites.

I would have been in touch sooner - but our internet connection is a bit hit and miss ast present.

I love the photos on your blog. They show a life very different from ours in Dorset (and Mars!).


Titania said...

Hi Kanak, I have tagged you on my blog. Perhaps you want to tag some more people.

Kanak Hagjer said...

Thanks Trudi, I honestly want to tag everyone!