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The spotted arum, known in botanical jargon as Arum maculatum, has a striking appearance and is therefore unusual and decorative. In addition, it is easy to care for in culture and can therefore be easily grown by beginners in plant care. However, if you want to plant it in the garden, you should ensure safety - because the aroid is dangerous.


The spotted arum is very in all parts of the plant highly toxic. Even picking or blending without appropriate protection can lead to irritation of the skin. Calcium oxalate crystals and pungent substances in the plant sap are responsible for this. On the one hand, they already irritate the skin themselves. On the other hand, they create tiny injuries through which the remaining toxins from the plant sap can penetrate. These in turn create further irritation.

But these are by no means the only dangers that can emanate from the arum.

berries and tuber

The berries of the spotted aroid are attractive to some animals and young children because of their color and shape. Grazing cattle, birds, but also dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs can mistake them for edible berries and thus poison themselves.
By far the greatest danger, however, comes from the tuber of the air. This is because the concentration of toxins is highest in these. If animals dig and come into contact with the tuber or the juice from it, it can very quickly become very dangerous for them. Even if they do not eat the tuber directly but damage it and the plant sap gets on their paws and fur, it is poisonous and can also cause symptoms of poisoning when cleaning their paws or fur.

Infructescence Spotted Arum

Dry and fresh

When dried, the spotted aroid is less poisonous and dangerous than the fresh parts of the plant. So if the clippings have already dried on the compost and partially decomposed, they pose a lower risk than the living plant.



When people ingest plant parts or berries of the aroid or come into contact with the juice, this sometimes goes unnoticed. An estimated 60 percent show no symptoms. If symptoms of poisoning occur, they can show up in the following ways:

Irritations of the mucous membranes:

  • inflammation
  • dryness
  • cracks
  • soreness
  • tingle
  • redness
  • swelling
  • increased mucus production
  • deafness

Irritation of the skin at the contact points:

  • redness
  • swelling
  • heat development
  • rash
  • itching
  • Burn

Gastrointestinal complaints after ingestion of parts or berries of arum:

  • Nausea to the point of vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • Stomach pain or abdominal pain
  • gas
  • cramps

If the spotted aroid is present in the garden and an adult shows such signs of poisoning after contact or a child after unsupervised play, a doctor to be visited. He should also be informed that it is possible poisoning with arum. In this way, the doctors can take appropriate countermeasures more quickly. In this way, more severe consequences of poisoning in adults and children can be avoided in a targeted manner.


The spotted aroid poses a danger, especially on pastures. It can even mean death for horses, cattle, sheep and the like. However, the signs of poisoning are often more difficult to recognize in animals, since they can usually be more varied and are harder to notice. In addition, a sick animal often tries to hide symptoms. Therefore, pets and farm animals should be observed very closely.

Symptoms of arum poisoning include:

  • restlessness or apathy
  • abrupt changes in behavior or abnormal behavior
  • bloated and/or hard abdomen
  • Flatulence or outgoing wind
  • Smacking, salivating and "empty chewing", i.e. chewing movements without having eaten food, indicate nausea
  • Vomit
  • diarrhea

Although these signs can also point to other and less urgent problems, such as food intolerance or a parasite infestation, the cause should be clarified immediately. As mentioned at the beginning, arum poisoning can be deadly for animals. thats why quick action asked.
Irritations of the skin and mucous membranes, such as redness, swelling, rashes and inflammations also indicate reactions that may be caused by the spotted aroid. If there is a suspicion of ingestion of arum or contact with it, at least the mucous membranes should be checked. It is advisable to teach all animals this control as early as possible and to link it positively. This makes it easier later to check teeth and eyes for diseases, damage and foreign bodies, for example.

First aid

The most important first aid measure is to see or call a doctor or veterinarian immediately. Measures such as rinsing off affected areas and giving milk or activated charcoal are not proven to work.
Proper therapy is important. Therefore, medical personnel should always be informed that the spotted aroid or other poisonous plants are within reach or have even been in contact with them. This allows those affected to be treated in a targeted manner.

protective measures

If a plant is poisonous, keep it safe for pets and humans - especially children inaccessible be planted or not planted at all on the property or in the pasture. Even then, however, it cannot be ruled out that the aroid or another dangerous plant can spread in your own greenery. Often enough, propagation takes place via foothills, blown or carried seeds.
For this reason, the following steps or precautions should be followed:

1. Provide information about poisonous plants and have pictures ready

Hardly anyone can remember all the plants that can be dangerous for humans and wild or domestic animals. Pictures and short descriptions help to keep the overview.

2. Weekly or bi-weekly checks

Your own garden, exercise area and pastures for pets or farm animals should be checked regularly. New plants usually stand out in the garden and grass anyway. Unknown growths can be removed immediately.

3. Education and training of animals and children

At least dogs can be educated through poison bait training not to take anything outdoors. Children should be repeatedly warned not to touch or put in their mouths any suspected berries or foreign objects. This not only reduces the risk of poisoning, but also the risk of parasites or pathogens being ingested. As long as this upbringing or training is not secure, pets and children should be supervised.

4. Self-protection from direct contact

If you work in the garden and handle plants, you should at least wear impermeable gloves. This avoids direct skin contact.

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