Is an Umbrella Tree Poisonous?

Save

Though often grown as a houseplant, umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla, also called Brassaia arboricola) contains toxins potentially harmful to people and animals. Reactions to the poison are not usually severe, but you should contact a poison control for help if someone eats part of the plant.

About The Toxin

Umbrella trees are poisonous because they contain calcium oxalate crystals, which are in the umbrella plant's sap, which means it's in all parts of the plant. The sap causes minor skin irritation that typically lasts only a few minutes. If you get the sap on your skin, wash with soap and water immediately. Wear gloves when you're working with the plant.

When people eat the leaves or sap, it can cause vomiting, numbness and tingling in the mouth and a lack of coordination. Umbrella plant poisoning causes a similar reaction in pets. Animals may vomit, drool, have difficulty swallowing or may show signs of burning or irritation in the mouth, lips and tongue.

Contact a Poison Control Center by calling 1-800-222-1222 if a person eats any part of this plant. Tell the operator that you suspect schefflera poisoning, and follow the instructions.

If your pet eats part of an umbrella tree, contact your veterinarian for assistance.

Umbrella Tree Uses

You might wonder why this plant is in so many homes and gardens if is hazardous to people and pets. Outdoors, umbrella trees can reach up to 50 feet tall and make an impressive evergreen specimen plant. They are more often grown as a houseplant because they're tropical plants, and only grow outdoors in the warm, frost-free climates of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11. The plants may overwinter outdoors in USDA zone 9 if you protect them from frost.

Indoors, umbrella trees typically reach about 6 to 8 feet tall and can be kept smaller with pruning. They are well-suited to container growing and need medium or bright light.

Related Searches

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

  • Are Cedar Trees Poisonous to Dogs?

    One particular deciduous species, known as the white cedar, melia azedarach, is poisonous to dogs. It has several other names: the Ceylon...

  • Are Pine Trees Poisonous to Cats?

    A detailed description of the various hazards that pine trees pose to cats, as well as basic information regarding prevention and medical...

  • Umbrella Tree Facts

    Umbrella trees (Schefflera actinophylla) are evergreen trees native to Australia and New Zealand. Also called schefflera, they are often grown as indoor...

  • Are Magnolia Trees Poisonous to Dogs or Cats?

    As a responsible pet owner, you’re naturally concerned about the types of plants your dogs or cats are exposed to outside your...

  • Tips on Growing a Catalpa Umbrella Tree

    The umbrella catalpa tree (Catalpa bungei) is a deciduous tree native to China and other areas of Eastern Asia. It has a...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Make a Vertical Clay Pot Garden

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!