Did you know the Sago Palm is toxic to pets?

676138.jpg I just received a new edition of my ASPCA newsletter and one article in particular caught my eye. It was about the increased incidence of pets being poisoned by the Sago Palm. This plant can also be quite toxic to young children.

The Sago Palm is common in warm climates, but it’s become more popular in Northern homes as a houseplant. The plant is native to Southern Japan. It’s an attractive plant with dark green leaves and a hairy trunk.

Since 2003, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has seen an increase in cases of Sago palm and Cycad poisonings by more than 200 percent. APCC data also reveals that 50 percent to 75 percent of those cases resulted in fatalities.

sago-palm.jpg A chemical in the plant called cycasin is toxic and often causes permanent liver damage as well as neurological damage if enough of the poison is absorbed by the body. The seeds are the most poisonous part of the plant, although all parts of this plant are toxic, and the effects on humans are seizures, coma and death. Of course the seeds are an attractive reddish color so children and possible curious pets might be drawn to the plant.

Clinical signs of toxic poisoning are vomiting, melena (blood in stool), Jaundice, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising and later liver damage, liver failure and death.

If you have young children or pets in your home and you’d like to check to see if your house or garden plants are toxic you can take a look at this list of Toxic Plants. There’s also a list of non-toxic plants that you might also want to look at if you are planning on adding more plants to your collection.






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Spring garden maintenance complete and front boulevard planted

I’d like to thank everyone who stopped by to express their condolences on the loss of Chris’ cousin who was a very good friend of ours. I was supposed to be in another city and attending the visitations today, but I got really sick yesterday and our car broke down. So I’m home tonight … Chris can’t even drive back to pick me up as our car hasn’t been repaired yet. You can read a more detailed explanation of what happened on my main blog if you’d like.

So on to garden related stuff …

Last week, in preparation for Green Thumb Sunday, I went out into my yard and took pictures of most of the plants that were either coming up or that were blooming.

The garden looks very nice this year. Chris and I spent two days last weekend cleaning up the garden – trimming plants, getting rid of dead foliage, pruning roses and putting some compost that we picked up at a local park on Saturday thanks to Toronto’s Earth days’. (That’s a green recycling program where the city gives back the compost from the green garbage and other yard related wastes it’s picked up the year prior).

Needless to say my back took a beating and ached for a few days after I over did it in the garden. The effort payed off though as we had cooler temperatures and some rain last week and that really perked up the garden. Since the beds were tidier I could really see how my plants were progressing.

IMG_3325 Now you might remember a post I made about a month ago. It was the one where I showed photos of our front yard still covered in snow and photos of our planted boulevard that I had spent the day cleaning up.

Well the front boulevard looks even nicer now! I planted some peonies that I’d purchased in early April as well as some Dahlias, Gay Feather and a few other plants to go along with the plants that have been growing there for a few years (iris, daylilies, malva, salvia, tulips) and we placed our short bamboo fence in front of it to finish off the look and protect the garden from the teens that like to stand outside my house talking before they go their separate ways after school.

This is what it looks like now:

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and from another angle:

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Just to give you a complete picture of how the front garden looks I’ll throw in a photo of the front flower beds too:

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Now most of my plants are in the backyard. In a day or two I’ll post some photos of how the backyard garden looks right now and maybe a few photos of what’s blooming.

I hope your gardens are doing well right now!

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