Beautiful but deadly, lilies are known to be poisonous---even in small doses---if ingested by humans or pets, according to Drexel University's College of Medicine and the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA).
In humans, symptoms of lily poisoning include blurred vision, excessive urination, loss of appetite, stomach pain, confusion, fainting, headache, lethargy, drowsiness, skin rash or hives, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In cats, within hours of ingestion, lily poisoning is known to cause vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite.
A Danger for Felines
The CFA advises that lilies are especially dangerous for cats, warning that even in the smallest amounts, lily poisoning will lead to kidney failure in felines within 36 to 72 hours without treatment.
Varieties of Note
The following varieties of lilies are cited by the CFA as being toxic for cats: Easter lily, Tiger lily, Rubrum lily, Japanese show lily and Hemerocallis species. Many of these varieties and species are also poisonous to children.
Not Just the Flowers
While the roots are the most dangerous part of the plant , all parts of the lily, including the leaves, flowers and stems, are known to be poisonous.
Immediate medical attention is necessary in all cases of suspected poisoning by lily plants.
In the United States, the National Poison Control Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-222-1222 for any questions on poisoning or poison prevention. Pictures of the lilies generally recognized as poisonous are available from the website of the the National Capital Poison Center.
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