Tulip (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Tulip (Tulipa spp.), including Tulipa gesneriana, is a widely cultivated plant used as a perennial spring flower in Canada. Many species and hybrids as well as numerous cultivars of tulips may be found in Canada. Tulips contain an allergen, tuliposide A, which causes dermatitis in sensitive individuals. Poisoning of humans and dogs has also been reported when tulip bulbs mistaken for onions were ingested. The allergen tuliposide A is also found in the Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria spp.), and there is cross-sensitivity to onion and garlic (Allium spp). Tulips are not normally a problem to humans, but sensitive individuals should avoid touching the plants (Mitchell and Rook 1979, Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • Marks, J. G. 1988. Allergic contact dermatitis to Alstroemeria. Arch. Dermatol., 124: 914-916.
  • Mitchell, J. C., Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology. Greenglass Ltd, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 787 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Tulipa gesneriana L.
Vernacular name(s):
tulip
Scientific family name:
Liliaceae
Vernacular family name:
lily

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Tulipa gesneriana

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

Images: tulip - Google Search

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

Tulips contain an allergen that causes dermatitis in sensitive individuals. The allergen concentration is highest in the bulbs, less in the stem and leaves, and least in the flowers. The allergen decreases in the outermost leaves immediately before harvest time. Some cultivars of tulips cause less severe dermatitis than others (Mitchell and Rook 1979).

Toxic parts:

  • bulb - dust of
  • bulbs
  • leaves
  • stems

References:

  • Mitchell, J. C., Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology. Greenglass Ltd, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 787 pp.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Tuliposide A is the precursor of the sensitizing agent called alpha-methylene-gamma-butyrolactone (tulipalin A), which results from the hydrolysis of tuliposide A and the lactonization of its aglycone. This chemical causes dermatitis in sensitive individuals (Mitchell and Rook 1979).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • tuliposide A

References:

  • Mitchell, J. C., Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology. Greenglass Ltd, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 787 pp.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

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

Dogs

No details about poisoning symptoms available.

Humans

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

A few cases of poisoning have occurred after tulip bulbs were ingested either to supplement food or when the bulbs were mistaken for onions. Symptoms included nausea, salivation, sweating, difficult breathing, and palpitations. Weakness persisted for days and vomiting occurred (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • Mitchell, J. C., Rook, A. 1979. Botanical dermatology. Greenglass Ltd, Vancouver, B.C., Canada. 787 pp.

Another search?