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Bright flowers are the main draw of alstroemeria plants. These hardy perennials have flowers resembling lilies, adding interest and visual contrast to gardens. Native to Brazil and Chile, these plants are cultivated around the world and appear in cut-flower arrangements. Despite their pleasant appearance, alstroemeria plants posses toxins that are poisonous to cats.
Alstroemeria plants have rhizome rootstocks with shoots growing straight from the ground. Leaves are resupinate, twisting gently so that the bottom surface of the leaf appears to be the top. Flowers grow in umbels on top of the shoots and appear in a variety of colours, including whites, yellows, reds and purples.
"The Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians" identifies alstroemeria plants as mildly poisonous to cats. The active toxin is tulipalin.
The main symptoms of feline tulipalin poisoning is gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhoea and vomiting, a fact supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The toxin can also cause skin irritation from casual contact.
If you suspect your cat is suffering adverse effects from eating an alstroemeria plant, seek veterinary care immediately.
- "Tropical Flowering Plants: A Guide to Identification and Cultivation"; Kirsten Albrecht Llamas; 2003
- "The Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians"; Joanna Bassert, Dennis McCurnin; 2009
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Poison Control: Okay or No Way?
- flower alstroemeria close up image by Galina Moiseeva from Fotolia.com