Ilex opaca (Scientific name)

General poisoning notes:

American holly (Ilex opaca) is an ornamental shrub that provides glossy green leaves and red berries used in Christmas decorations. Ingested berries have been implicated in cases of poisoning of children. The symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea (Rodrigues et al. 1984, Lampe and McCann 1985).

References:

  • Lampe, K. F., McCann, M. A. 1985. AMA Handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. American Medical Assoc. Chicago, Ill.,USA. 432 pp.
  • Rodrigues, T. D., Johnson, P. N., Jeffrey, L. P. 1984. Hollyberry ingestion. Case report. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 26: 157-158.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Ilex opaca Ait.
Vernacular name(s):
American Holly
Scientific family name:
Aquifoliaceae
Vernacular family name:
Holly

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Ilex opaca

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: Ilex opaca - Google Search

Toxic parts:

  • Mature fruit

References:

  • Rodrigues, T. D., Johnson, P. N., Jeffrey, L. P. 1984. Hollyberry ingestion. Case report. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 26: 157-158.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

Ilicin is a crude extract that is a bitter glycoside. This extract has been implicated as the poisonous substance (Rodrigues et al. 1984).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • Ilicin

References:

  • Rodrigues, T. D., Johnson, P. N., Jeffrey, L. P. 1984. Hollyberry ingestion. Case report. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 26: 157-158.

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:

Ingestion of a "handful" of berries caused repeated vomiting, green, watery diarrhea, and passage of green semisoft stools. The drowsiness might have been associated with the ipecac-induced vomiting. Ingestion of berries usually results in mild symptoms unless a lot of berries are eaten. Children are more likely to eat the berries (Rodrigues et al. 1984).

References:

  • Rodrigues, T. D., Johnson, P. N., Jeffrey, L. P. 1984. Hollyberry ingestion. Case report. Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 26: 157-158.

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