Dictamnus albus (Scientific name)

General poisoning notes:

Gas plant (Dictamnus albus) has caused phytophotodermatitis in humans. In one case in Ottawa, a gardener suffered recurring skin eruptions for several summers. The original diagnosis was poison-ivy, but subsequent testing proved that the gas plant was causing the skin reactions. The plant juices are absorbed by the skin and, in the presence of long-wave ultraviolet light, cell damage occurs. Once this cause is recognized, careful avoidance of contact with the gas plant prevents further problems (Henderson and DesGroseilliers 1984). This is an uncommon and colorful plant found in Canadian herbaceous borders.

References:

  • Henderson, J. A., DesGroseilliers, J.-P. 1984. Gas plant (Dictamnus albus) phytophotodermatitis simulating poison ivy. Can. Med. Assoc. J., 130: 889-891.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Dictamnus albus L.
Vernacular name(s):
gas plant
Scientific family name:
Rutaceae
Vernacular family name:
rue

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Dictamnus albus

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: Dictamnus albus - Google Search

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

Exposure to the plant juices is required, which occurs when weeding around the plant or cutting the flowers (Henderson and DesGroseilliers 1984).

Toxic parts:

  • plant juices

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Henderson, J. A., DesGroseilliers, J.-P. 1984. Gas plant (Dictamnus albus) phytophotodermatitis simulating poison ivy. Can. Med. Assoc. J., 130: 889-891.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Furocoumarins, which are derived from psoralen, are found in several of the plants that cause phytophotodermatitis. These compounds are primary photodynamic agents that absorb long-wave ultraviolet light at the surface of the skin and then cause cell damage (Henderson and DesGroseilliers 1984, Cheeke and Schull 1985).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • furocoumarin

References:

  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Henderson, J. A., DesGroseilliers, J.-P. 1984. Gas plant (Dictamnus albus) phytophotodermatitis simulating poison ivy. Can. Med. Assoc. J., 130: 889-891.

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:

References:

  • Henderson, J. A., DesGroseilliers, J.-P. 1984. Gas plant (Dictamnus albus) phytophotodermatitis simulating poison ivy. Can. Med. Assoc. J., 130: 889-891.

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