Lilies are one of the most popular ornamental flowers. But many gardeners wonder whether lilies are poisonous, especially for dogs, cats & Co. We explain. Lilies ( Lilium ) are an innocent dream in white. For the full-blown hobby botanist, this may also apply at all levels. You can add impressive flowers to any ready-made salad or dig for tasty onions for your next survival training session. Here you will find everything about the cultivation and the symbolic meaning of the elegant lilies. But for small children and especially for cats, the dream can quickly turn into a nightmare.
Lilies: Toxic to humans?
It is not uncommon for extravagant salads with exotic-looking lily flowers to beckon – because most types of lily are edible. Only the trunk should not be included in the menu. In China, the onions of Lilium brownii, king lily ( Lilium regale ), tiger lily ( Lilium lancifolium ), and splendor lily ( Lilium speciosum ) are integral part of domestic cuisine. In Northeast Asia, onions from Lilium debile and Turkish lily ( Lilium martagon ) have been used as vegetables for centuries. Various species of onions were also used as food by Native North America. With us, the colorful flowers are especially beautiful eye-catchers in the salad for the next social gathering. But apart from the nutritional value, the flowers and bulbs of the lily are also said to have medicinal properties:
- Blood purifying effect
- Cough relieving effect
- Scarring effect
- Muscle relaxing effect
- The pain-relieving effect, especially for menstrual pain
- Wound healing effect
However, especially with small children, who are characterized by their irrepressible desire to put something in their mouth, the consumption of large amounts can be dangerous. Because toddlers weigh very little. In the case of poisoning, you must have consumed a certain amount of the toxin per kilogram of body weight.
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How much of something has to be eaten depends on its weight. Small children show symptoms of the poisoning even after they have eaten a small amount of plant material. Nevertheless, lilies are considered plants for a family-friendly garden.
Lilies: Toxic for cats, dogs, and the like?
The animal welfare organization Peta ranks lilies in the top 20 most poisonous houseplants for animals. Because all parts of plants of all kinds of these beautiful flowering plants are highly poisonous, at least for cats. Even the smallest amounts added can be fatal. Ingested pollen, flower water, or soil in which lilies grow can lead to symptoms of poisoning. Dogs and rodents are not in mortal danger even after consuming large amounts. The effect on turtles is unknown.
Lily poisoning in cats: symptoms
A cat that has come into contact with lilies should be taken to the veterinarian immediately. When poisoned by lilies, cats may experience the following symptoms:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urination
- Loss of appetite
- Dehydration is characterized by listlessness
These symptoms are not life-threatening at first, but the lily’s poison is insidious. Because kidney failure, which can be caused by poisoning, does not occur until one to three days later. There are still no specific antidotes for lily poisoning. The veterinarian treats the poisoning by detoxifying or giving charcoal. After that, only about every second cat will be completely healthy again. Lilies really have no place in households with cats.
However, this does not mean that cat owners cannot use flowering plants as decoration in their homes! We have put together some houseplants that are non-toxic to cats for you.