glory lily (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Glory lily (Gloriosa superba) is a rarely grown indoor ornamental vine best suited to greenhouses. Ingesting the tubers causes severe poisoning in humans. The plant contains two alkaloids, including colchicine, which cause severe gastroenteritis, vomiting, and possible unconciousness. Severe hair loss is a consistent symptom of colchicine poisoning. Complete recovery is slow (Gooneratne 1966, Angunawela and Fernando 1971, Lampe and McCann 1985).

References:

  • Angunawela, R. M., Fernando, H. A. 1971. Acute ascending polyneuropathy and dermatitis following poisoning by tubers of Gloriosa superba. Ceylon Med. J., 16: 233-235.
  • Gooneratne, B. W. 1966. Massive generalized alopecia after poisoning by Gloriosa superba. Br. Med. J., 1: 1023-1024.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name
Gloriosa superba L.
Vernacular name(s)
glory lily
Scientific family name
Liliaceae
Vernacular family name
lily

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Gloriosa superba

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. , Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

  • Plant or plant parts used in or around the home.

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

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Toxic parts:

  • tubers

References:

  • Angunawela, R. M., Fernando, H. A. 1971. Acute ascending polyneuropathy and dermatitis following poisoning by tubers of Gloriosa superba. Ceylon Med. J., 16: 233-235.
  • Gooneratne, B. W. 1966. Massive generalized alopecia after poisoning by Gloriosa superba. Br. Med. J., 1: 1023-1024.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Two alkaloids, colchicine and gloriosine, are found in the tubers of glory lily. In one case, a young women ingested 125 g of tubers containing 0.3% colchicine. She ingested the equivalent of 350 mg of colchicine and within 2 h she was vomiting, becoming unconscious by the next day (Gooneratne 1966).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • colchicine
  • gloriosine

References:

  • Angunawela, R. M., Fernando, H. A. 1971. Acute ascending polyneuropathy and dermatitis following poisoning by tubers of Gloriosa superba. Ceylon Med. J., 16: 233-235.
  • Gooneratne, B. W. 1966. Massive generalized alopecia after poisoning by Gloriosa superba. Br. Med. J., 1: 1023-1024.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Humans

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Ingesting the tubers causes severe vomiting, abdominal pain, severe and bloody diarrhea, vaginal bleeding, weakness, and retention of urine and waste. Swelling of the lower or upper limbs may occur. Partial to complete hair loss occurs, sometimes on all parts of the body. Recover is slow, because colchicine is slowly secreted from the system. Treatment includes fluid retention, monitoring of renal function and blood pressure, and treatment for diarrhea (Gooneratne 1966, Angunawela and Fernando 1971, Lampe and McCann 1985).

References:

  • Angunawela, R. M., Fernando, H. A. 1971. Acute ascending polyneuropathy and dermatitis following poisoning by tubers of Gloriosa superba. Ceylon Med. J., 16: 233-235.
  • Gooneratne, B. W. 1966. Massive generalized alopecia after poisoning by Gloriosa superba. Br. Med. J., 1: 1023-1024.
  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill., USA. 432 pp.

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