Lonicera xylosteum (Scientific name)

General poisoning notes:

Fly honeysuckle (Lonicera xylosteum) is cultivated in southwestern Quebec and southern Ontario. This ornamental shrub has been implicated in cases of poisoning of children in Europe. Recent literature indicates that cases of poisoning are rare, and the symptoms are considered mild. Experimental poisoning of rabbits has caused mild symptoms. Injecting fruit extracts at high doses has caused sickness and death in mice. Ingesting a large number of berries (ca. 30) may cause abdominal pain and vomiting in children (Frohne and Pfander 1983). Additional species of cultivated honeysuckle have also been implicated in cases of human poisoning. Woodbine (Lonicera periclymenum) may be poisonous. This climbing honeysuckle is occasionally planted. See the general notes under Tartarian honeysuckle, (Lonicera tatarica).

References:

  • Frohne, D., Pfander, H. J. 1983. A colour atlas of poisonous plants. Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, England. 291 pp.
  • 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:
Lonicera xylosteum L.
Vernacular name(s):
fly honeysuckle
Scientific family name:
Caprifoliaceae
Vernacular family name:
honeysuckle

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Lonicera xylosteum

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

  • Ontario
  • Quebec

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: Lonicera xylosteum - Google Search

Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

The berries have been implicated in cases of toxicity in Europe. In North America no cases of poisoning occurred after children ingested the berries (Lampe and McCann 1985).

Toxic parts:

  • mature fruit

References:

  • Frohne, D., Pfander, H. J. 1983. A colour atlas of poisonous plants. Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, England. 291 pp.

Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:

The toxin is unknown, but saponins are thought to be responsible for the cases of poisoning. Traces of alkaloids were also found (Frohne and Pfander 1983).

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • unknown chemical

References:

  • Frohne, D., Pfander, H. J. 1983. A colour atlas of poisonous plants. Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, England. 291 pp.

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:

Symptoms of ingestion include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. More severe symptoms have been listed in early European literature, but severe toxicity has not been conclusively documented (Frohne and Pfander 1983).

References:

  • Frohne, D., Pfander, H. J. 1983. A colour atlas of poisonous plants. Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, England. 291 pp.

Rabbits

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Experimental feeding of berries (dry weight at 25 g/kg of body weight) to rabbits caused diarrhea and lack of movement within 24 h Frohne and Pfander 1983).

References:

  • Frohne, D., Pfander, H. J. 1983. A colour atlas of poisonous plants. Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, England. 291 pp.

Rodents

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Mice experimentally injected with berry extract (dry weight at 20-40 g/kg of body weight) experienced brief excitation, followed by drowsiness, abdominal spasms, and equilibrium and respiratory problems. Death sometimes followed in 10 min to several hours. A connection was made between saponin content and toxicity (Frohne and Pfander 1983).

References:

  • Frohne, D., Pfander, H. J. 1983. A colour atlas of poisonous plants. Wolfe Publishing Ltd., London, England. 291 pp.

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