How poisonous is a crocus?
In spring and autumn, crocuses adorn gardens, parks and green spaces with vibrant splashes of color. The plant is one of the most popular early flowering plants, but is also considered poisonous. How dangerous is crocus for small children and pets?
As winter comes to an end and the sun shines more and more often, it’s already there: crocuses. In spring, it populates car islands and green stripes with bright colors, appears in parks and gardens, and for several weeks turns monotonous lawns into lush flower carpets.
Especially in early spring, crocuses are an important food source for honey bees and other insects. Colonizing species such as bumblebees depend on early flowering plants such as crocuses, and nectar and pollen are essential for the survival of the animals. However, there is one catch: crocuses have a reputation for being poisonous. Is the popular spring plant a threat to babies and pets like dogs, cats and rabbits?
Colchicum contains picrocrocin.
Spring crocuses, scientifically Crocus vernusas well as its subspecies Crocus white-flowered open their petals from March. In addition to being an important food for insects, flowers and leaves also contain secondary plant matter. picrocrocin. The crocus tuber contains a particularly large amount of it.
Consumption of small amounts is harmless to humans, but consumption of large amounts leads to picrocrocin. intolerance. signs of intoxication such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea are the result.
Be careful with small children
Mild symptoms of poisoning can also occur in young children after overuse. However, the active substance is not life-threatening. At worst, parents should give plenty of clean water to drink and, as a precaution, notify your pediatrician or poison control center.
However, the bitter taste of crocuses should prevent most people from consuming appropriate amounts, which is why the poison information center classifies spring crocus as harmless or “mildly toxic.”
Crocus is highly toxic to cats, rabbits, etc.
But with pets, the situation is different. Crocuses should be kept away from curious animals that love to nibble on greens.
Especially Rodents such as rabbits and guinea pigs are endangered.for them it’s picrocrocin highly toxic and eating crocuses and crocus bulbs can mean an agonizing death. Therefore, there should be no plants in open enclosures.
Per Dogs and cats, but also horses, picrocrocin is also incompatible. The bitter substance can lead to severe poisoning symptoms in animals. Consumption can even cause premature birth in pregnant animals.
The most poisonous representative is saffron cork.
Among autumn colchicum there are also poisonous species, saffron colchicum (scientifically Crocus sativa). Its tubers and stigmas are considered poisonous. In addition, the tuber contains Crocus sativasteroidal saponins, which at higher concentrations can cause severe symptoms of poisoning in humans and animals. Symptoms include bleeding, vomiting, convulsions, and dizziness.
However, the saffron crocus, from whose stamens the famous oriental kitchen spice is obtained, is mainly cultivated for the production of saffron. Therefore, the plant is rarely found in ornamental gardens and therefore rarely leads to real poisoning.
Poisonous twin of the crocus: Better keep your hands off the autumn colchicum
Even if the common colchicum poses only a minor danger to humans, one should be all the more careful with its poisonous twin: In no case should colchicum be confused with poisonous colchicum.scientific Colchicum autumn. Because then it becomes really dangerous.
Colchicum and Colchicum are not only surprisingly similar in appearance, but also open their flowers at the same time – between August and November. Gorgeously bright Colchicum flowers almost make you forget their poisonousness, and the crocus-like bulbous flower is considered one of the most poisonous native herbaceous plants.
In fact, the plant is extremely dangerous for humans and animals, even eating a small amount can be fatal. All parts of the plant contain the highly toxic alkaloid colchicine, which can cause severe poisoning symptoms even in small amounts.
To be able to distinguish them from crocuses, one should two distinguishing features Note: Colchicum has six stamens, while Colchicum has only three. When the plants are in bloom, you can tell them apart by looking closely. In addition, colchicum bulbs are more than twice as large as colchicum bulbs.