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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Monday - September 04, 2006

From: Oak Grove, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Toxicity of Peruvian Lilies (Alstroemeria sp) for food decoration
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am trying to find out if I can decorate a cake using live alstroemeria laid on top of the icing. I would not want to eat the flower, just lay it on top to look pretty before removing and serving the cake. Thanks for your help!

ANSWER:

Perhaps it wouldn't be the best idea to put Peruvian Lilies (Alstroemeria sp.), beautiful as they are, on your cake. University of California Davis lists them on their Toxic Plants list in Toxicity Class 2 ("Minor Toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea.") and Class 4("Dermatitis: The juice, sap, or thorns of these plants may cause a skin rash or irritation."). The Peruvian Lily is also listed by the Washington Poison Center with the same toxicity ratings.
 

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