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Poisonous Plants

Tracer Bullet 90-4


Sources useful in locating published materials on the more than 700 species of plants, ferns, horsetails, and fungi that can cause toxic, though rarely fatal, reactions in humans and animals. A partial update of Poisonous Plants and Animals (TB 78-12), this guide is intended for those who wish to review published materials on poisonous plants in the collections of the Library of Congress. Not meant to be a comprehensive bibliography, this guide is designed--as the name of the series implies--to put the reader "on target."



Arena, Jay. Plants that poison. Emergency medicine, v. 13, June 15, 1981: 25-29, 33-34, 36, 43-47, 50-53, 57.
   Pamphlet box <SciRR> and RC86.E45

Kingsbury, John Merriam. Knowledge of poisonous plants in the United States--brief history and conclusions. Economic botany, v. 15, Apr./June 196l: 119-130.
   Pamphlet box <SciRR> and SB1.E3

Wagstaff, D. Jesse, Ann T. Wagstaff, and J. C. Goshorn. A poisonous plant file in Toxline. Toxicon, v. 27, no. 2, 1989: 259-263.
   Pamphlet box <SciRR> and QP631.T6



Subject headings used by the Library of Congress, under which books on poisonous plants can be located in most card, book, and online catalogs, include the following:

Highly Relevant

   See also names of individual plants, e.g., POISON-IVY, POISON OAK, METOPIUM TOXIFERA





More General




Ammirati, Joseph F., James A. Traquair, and Paul A. Horgen. Poisonous mushrooms of the northern United States and Canada. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, c1985. 396 p.
   RA1242.M9A45 1985

Blackwell, Will H. Poisonous and medicinal plants. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice Hall, c1990. 329 p.
   QK100.A1B57 1990 <SciRR>
   Chapter 5 written by Martha J. Powell.

Creekmore, Hubert. Daffodils are dangerous: the poisonous plants in your garden. New York, Walker, 1966. 258 p.
   SB617.C74 <SciRR>

Kingsbury, John Merriam. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, l964. 626 p.
   Bibliography: p. 13-16 and p. 509-589.
   SB617.K5 <SciRR>

Lampe, Kenneth F., and Mary Ann McCann. AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. Chicago, American Medical Association, Distributed by Chicago Review Press, c1985. 432 p.
   RA1250.L27 1985 <SciRR>
   Extensive bibliographies at ends of chapters.

Muenscher, Walter Conrad Leopold. Poisonous plants of the United States. Rev. ed. New York, Macmillan, l951. 277 p.
   Bibliography: p. 246-260.
   QK100.U6M8 1951

Westbrooks, Randy G., and James W. Preacher. Poisonous plants of eastern North America. Columbia, S.C., University of South Carolina Press, c1986. 226 p.
   Bibliography: p. 213-221.
   QK100.U6W47 1986



Campbell, George R. An illustrated guide to some poisonous plants and animals of Florida. Englewood, Fla., Pineapple Press, c1983. 175 p.
   Bibliography: p. 165-166.
   QK100.C28 1983

Evers, Robert August, and Roger P. Link. Poisonous plants of the Midwest & their effects on livestock. Urbana, Distributed by the University of Illinois Press, 1972. 165 p. (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Agriculture. Special publication, 24)
   Based on Illinois plants poisonous to livestock, by L. R. Tehon, C. C. Morrill, and R. Graham.
   S537.I423 no. 24

Fuller, Thomas C., and Elizabeth May McClintock. Poisonous plants of California. Berkeley, University of California Press, c1986. 433 p. (California natural history guides, 53)
   Bibliography: p. 387-389.
   QK100.U6F85 1986

Garrison, Gary L. Selected noxious and poisonous plants of concern to New Mexico. Las Cruces, N.M., New Mexico Dept. of Agriculture, 1983. 58 p. (Special report, no. 2) Bibliography: p. 57-58.
   SB617.45.N6G37 1983

Heller, Christine A. Wild, edible, and poisonous plants of Alaska. Rev. 1981. Anchorage, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska, 198l. 90 p. (Cooperative Extension Service, University of Alaska. Publication, no. 28)
   QK98.5.U6H44 1981

Morton, Julia Frances. Plants poisonous to people in Florida and other warm areas. 2nd ed. Miami, Fla., J. F. Morton, 1982. 170 p.    Bibliography: p. 161-166.
   QK100.U6M67 1982

Schmutz, Ervin M., and Lucretia Breazeale Hamilton. Plants that poison: an illustrated guide for the American Southwest. Flagstaff, Ariz., Northland Press, 1979. 241 p.
   Bibliography: p. 223-225.

Schultes, Richard Evans, and Robert F. Raffauf. The healing forest: medicinal and toxic plants of the northwest Amazonia. Portland, Ore., Dioscorides Press, cl990. 484 p. (Historical, ethno- & economic botany series, v. 2)
   Bibliography: p. 475-476.
   QK99.A47S38 1990

Stephens, H. A. Poisonous plants of the central United States. Lawrence, Regents Press of Kansas, c1980. 165 p.



Arena, Jay M., and Richard H. Drew, eds. Poisoning: toxicology, symptoms, treatments. 5th ed. Springfield, Ill., Thomas, c1986. 1128 p.
   RA1216.A69 1986 <SciRR>

Brinker, Francis J., comp. An introduction to the toxicology of common botanical medicinal substances. Portland, Ore., National College of Naturopathic Medicine, c1983. 127 p.
   Bibliography: p. 125-127.
   RA1250.B75 1983 <SciRR>

Cheeke, Peter R., and Lee R. Shull. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. Westport, Conn., AVI Pub. Co., cl985. 492 p.
   SF757.5.C44 1985

Dermatotoxicology. Edited by Francis N. Marzulli, Howard I. Maibach. 3rd ed. Washington, Hemisphere, c1987. 773 p.
   RL72.D468 1987

Fisher, Alexander A. Contact dermatitis. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Lea & Febiger, 1986. 954 p.
   RC593.C6F57 1986

Hardin, James W., and Jay M. Arena. Human poisoning from native and cultivated plants. 2d ed. Durham, N.C., Duke University Press, 1974. 194 p.
   Bibliography: p. 173-178.
   QK100.N6H3 1974 <SciRR>

Karimi, Maitai. The arrow poisons. Nairobi, East African Literature Bureau, 1973. 97 p.

Lewis, Walter Hepworth, Prathibha Vinay, and Vincent E. Zenger. Airborne and allergenic pollen of North America. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, c1983. 254 p.
   Bibliography: p. 243-247.
   QK658.L48 1983

Mitchell, John, and Arthur Rook. Botanical dermatology: plants and plant products injurious to the skin. Vancouver, Greengrass, 1979. 787 p.

Naturally occurring carcinogens of plant origin: toxicology, pathology, and biochemistry. Edited by Iwao Hirono. Tokyo, Kodansha; Amsterdam, New York, Elsevier; New York, Distributor for the U.S.A. and Canada, Elsevier Science Pub. Co., 1987. 234 p. (Bioactive molecules, v. 2)
   RC268.6.N39 1987



Frohne, Dietrich, and Hans Jurgen Pfander. A colour atlas of poisonous plants: a handbook for pharmacists, doctors, toxicologists, and biologists. Translated from the second German edition by Norman Grainger Bisset. London, Wolfe Pub., 1984. 291 p.
   QK100.A1F7613 1984 <SciRR>
   Translation of Giftpflanzen: Ein handbuch fur Apotheker, Arzte, Toxikologen, und Biologen, 2nd ed.

Levy, Charles K., and Richard B. Primack. A field guide to poisonous plants and mushrooms of North America. Brattleboro, Vt., S. Greene Press; New York, Distributed in the U.S. by Dutton, c1984. 178 p.
   Bibliography: p. 169-172.
   QK100.N6L48 1984

Manual of toxicologic emergencies. Editors, Eric K. Noji, Gabor D. Kelen. Chicago, Year Book Medical Publishers, c1989. 850 p.
   RA1224.5.M36 1989 <SciRR>
   See particularly "Botanical toxicity": p. 751-763.

Plant and fungal toxins. Edited by Richard F. Keeler, Anthony T. Tu. New York, M. Dekker, cl983. 934 p. (Handbook of natural toxins, v. 1)
   QP632.M9P55 1983 <SciRR>

Smith, Alexander Hanchett, and Nancy Smith Weber. The mushroom hunter's field guide. All color & enl. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, c1980. 316 p.
   QK617.S56 1980 <SciRR>
   "Selected books on mushrooms and related fungi": p. 309-310.

Toxicants of plant origin. Editor, Peter R. Cheeke. Boca Raton, Fla., CRC Press, cl989. 4 v.
   SF757.5.T69 1989 <SciRR>
   Contents: v. 1. Alkaloids--v. 2. Glycosides--v. 3. Proteins and amino acids--v. 4. Phenolics.

Tull, Delena. A practical guide to edible & useful plants: including recipes, harmful plants, natural dyes & textile fibers. Austin, Texas Monthly Press, c1987. 518 p.
   Bibliography: p. 405-417.
   QK98.5.U6T85 1987

Woodward, Lucia. Poisonous plants: a colour field guide. Newton Abbot, Eng., David & Charles, c1985. 192 p.
   QK100.A1W66 1985



Current topics in contact dermatitis. P. J. Frosch and others, editors. Berlin, New York, Springer-Verlag, c1989. 613 p.
   RC593.C6C88 1989
   Papers presented at a symposium sponsored by the European Environmental and Contact Dermatitis Research Group, held in Heidelberg, Germany, in May 1988.

The Ecology and economic impact of poisonous plants on livestock production. Edited by Lynn F. James, Michael H. Ralphs, and Darwin B. Nielsen. Boulder, Westview Press, 1988. 428 p.
   SB617.E26 1988
   "Based upon information given in a day-long symposium held at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management at Boise, Idaho, February 8-13, 1987."

International Conference on Toxic Algae (1980: Wright State University). The water environment: algal toxins and health. Edited by Wayne W. Carmichael. New York, Plenum Press, c1981. 491 p. (Environmental science research, v. 20)
   "Proceedings of an International Conference on Toxic Algae, held June 29-July 2, 1980, at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio."
   "Directory to toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) literature, compiled by Wayne W. Carmichael and Peter E. Bent:" p. 465-479.

International Symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins (6th: 1985: Pretoria, South Africa). Mycotoxins and phycotoxins: a collection of invited papers presented at the sixth International IUPAC Symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, 22-25 July 1985. Edited by P. S. Steyn and R. Vleggaar. Amsterdam, New York, Elsevier; New York, Distributors for the United States and Canada, Elsevier Science Pub. Co., 1986.
545 p. (Bioactive molecules, v. 1)
   QP632.M9I58 1986
   "The plenary lectures which were presented at the Symposium will be published during January 1986 in Pure and applied chemistry, the official journal of the IUPAC."

Joint United States-Australian Symposium on Poisonous Plants (1977: Utah State University). Effects of poisonous plants on livestock. Edited by Richard F. Keeler, Kent R. Van Kampen, Lynn F. James. New York, Academic Press, 1978. 600 p.
   SF757.5.J64 1977
   Proceedings of a symposium held at Utah State University, Logan, June 19-24, 1977, which was held under the auspices of the United States-Australian Agreement for Scientific and Technical Cooperation for Joint Meetings.

Symposium on Toxic Plants (1977: University of Miami). Toxic plants: proceedings of the 18th annual meeting of the Society for Economic Botany, Symposium on Toxic Plants, June 11-15, 1977, the University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida. A. Douglas Kinghorn, editor. New York, Columbia University Press, 1979. 195 p.
   RA1250.S98 1977
   Contents: l. The problems of poisonous plants.--2. Toxic mushrooms.--3. Toxins and teratogens of the Solanaceae and Liliaceae.--4. Pokeweed and other lymphocyte mitogens.--5. Literature review and clinical management of household ornamental plants potentially toxic to humans.--6. Cocarcinogenic irritant Euphorbiaceae.--7. The poisonous Anacardiaceae.--8. Contact hyper-sensitivity and photodermatitis evoked by Compositae.

World Congress on Animal, Plant, and Microbial Toxins (9th: 1988: Stillwater, Okla.). Natural toxins: characterization, pharmacology, and therapeutics. Proceedings of the 9th World Congress on Animal, Plant, and Microbial Toxins, Stillwater, Oklahoma, August 1988. Edited by Charlotte L. Ownby and George V. Odell. Oxford, Eng., New York, Pergamon Press, 1989. 211 p.
   QP631.W67 1988
   Sponsored by the International Society on Toxinology.



Cooper, Marion R., and Anthony W. Johnson. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. London, H.M.S.O., 1984. 305 p. (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food. Reference book, 161)
   Bibliography: p. 249-295.
   RA1250.C66 1984

Crooks, Donald Mundell, and Dayton L. Klingman. Poison-ivy, poison-oak, and poison sumac: identification, precautions, eradication. Rev. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1971. 15 p. (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Farmers' bulletin, no. 1972)
   Pamphlet box <SciRR>

Lampe, Kenneth F. Common poisonous and injurious plants. Rockville, Md., U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Food and Drug Administration, Bureau of Drugs, Division of Poison Control; Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1981? 29 p. (HHS publication, no. (FDA) 81-7006)
   Pamphlet box <SciRR> and QK100.U6L255

Youngken, Heber Wilkinson, and Joseph S. Karas. Typical poisonous plants. Washington, U.S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Bureau of Product Safety, 1973. 23 p.
   Pamphlet box <SciRR> and QK100.U6Y63
   "... originally published as a joint project between the Rhode Island Health Department and the U.S. Public Health Service, Division of Accident Prevention



Abstracting and Indexing Services that index relevant journal articles and other literature are listed below. Suggested terms are given as aids in searching. Consult a reference librarian for location of these items in the Science Reading Room

Applied Science & Technology Index (1913- )
   Z7913.I7 <SciRR>
   See: Poison Ivy

Biological of Agricultural (1942- )
   Z5073.U572 <SciRR>
   See: Poison Oak--Toxicology
   Poisonous Fungi
   Poisonous Plants--Control
   Poisonous Plants--Toxicology
   Poisonous Weeds

Biological Abstracts (1926- )
   QH301.B37 <SciRR>
   See: Mushroom (s)
   Poison (s)
   Names of individual plants

Biological & Agricultural Index (1916- )
   Z5073.A46 <SciRR>
   See: Forage Poisoning
   Poisonous Plants
   Names of individual plants

Index Medicus (1960- )
   Z6660.I422 <SciRR>
   See: Plants, Toxic
   Mushroom Poisoning

Magazine Index (1980- )
   Available in several formats in LC
   See: Poisonous Plants
   Mushrooms, Poisonous
   Names of individual plants

Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature (1900- )
   AI3.R45 SSRR
   See: Mushrooms, Poisonous
   Poison Ivy
   Poisonous Plants

Toxicology Abstracts (1978- )
   RA1190.T695 <SciRR>
   See: Plants under Section on Toxins and Other Natural Substances



Journals in a wide variety of fields may contain articles on poisonous plants. The following titles represent only a small sample.

Emergency Medicine RC86.E45
Horticulture SB1.H86
Journal of Natural Products QH1.L94
Journal of Range Management SF85.S67
Journal of Toxicology--Clinical Toxicology RA1190.C56
Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health RA1190.J67
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology RA1190.S627
Toxicon QP631.T6
Veterinary and Human Toxicology SF757.5.V48



Castorena, Joe L., and others. A fatal poisoning from Nicotiana glauca. Journal of toxicology--clinical toxicology, v. 25, no. 5, 1987: 429-435.

Der Marderosian, Ara H., Fredrick B. Giller, and Frank C. Roia, Jr. Phytochemical and toxicological screening of household ornamental plants potentially toxic to humans. Journal of toxicology and environmental health, v. 1, July 1976: 939-953.

Fenwick, G. R. Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)--toxic effects and toxic constituents. Journal of the science of food and agriculture, v. 46, no. 2, 1989: 147-173.

Fochtman, Frederick W., and others. Toxicity of the genus Dieffenbachia. Toxicology and applied pharmacology, v. 15, July 1969: 38-45.

Gillis, William T. Poison-ivy and its kin. Arnoldia, v. 35, Mar./Apr. 1975: 93-123.

Hartman, Guy. A pediatrician's advice to parents on poisonous plants. Horticulture, v. 55, Aug. 1977: 20-25.

Lane, Meredith A., and others. Forensic botany: plants, perpetrators, pests, poisons, and pot. BioScience, v. 40, Jan. 1990: 34-39.

Litten, Walter. The most poisonous mushrooms. Scientific American, v. 232, Mar. 1975: 90-101, 132.

Pfister, James A., Michael H. Ralphs, and Gary D. Manners. Cattle grazing tall larkspur on Utah mountain rangeland. Journal of range management, v. 41, Mar. 1988: 118-122.

Sharma, Om P., Harinder Paul S. Makkar, and Rajinder K. Dawra. A review of the noxious plant Lantana camara. Toxicon, v. 26, no. 11, 1988: 975-987.

Vietmeyer, Noel. Science has got its hands on poison ivy, oak and sumac; researchers have developed a skin test for sensitivity to these weeds, and foresee a vaccine that takes the itch out of them. Smithsonian, v. 16, Aug. 1985: 88-90, 92, 94-95, 137.

Wagstaff, D. Jesse, Merl Raisbeck, and Ann T. Wagstaff. Poisonous Plant Information System (PPIS). Veterinary and human toxicology, v. 31, June 1989: 237-238.



Technical Reports and other types of literature are indexed in the following guides:

Government Reports Announcements & Index (1946- )
   Z7916.G78 <SciRR>
   See: Mushrooms
   Poison Ivy
   Poison Oak
   Poisonous Plants

Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (1895- )
   Z1223.A18 <SciRR>
   See: Poison-Ivy



Epstein, William L. Clinical investigation of hyposensitization in poison oak sensitive individuals. Prepared for Food and Drug Administration. San Francisco, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, Feb. 1972. 101 p.
   PB225 760 <MicRR>
   The purpose of this contract was to determine whether individuals in California who were sensitive to poison oak could be desensitized by use of the purified active principle of poison oak, urushiol.

James, L. F., and others. Plants poisonous to livestock in western states. Beltsville, Md., U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, May 1985. 90 p.
   PB85-249282 <MicRR>
   Poisonous plants are a major cause of economic loss to the livestock industry. Each year these plants adversely affect 3-5 percent of the cattle, sheep, and horses that graze the western range.

Wagstaff, D. Jesse. Poisonous plant keyterms. Prepared for the National Library of Medicine. Washington, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Nov. 1987. 254 p.
   PB88-208210 <MicRR>
   This document is a description of the keyterms used in the poisonous plant file of TOXLINE. Seven types of keyterms are used including geographic location, plant species, plant part, animal species affected, and disease produced.

Waller, Coy W., and others. Toxicology of poison oak (Rhus toxicodendron) and poison ivy (Rhus radicans) extracts in the rat. Prepared for Food and Drug Administration. University, Miss., University of Mississippi, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, June 1974. 167 p.
   PB239 665 <MicRR>
   The objective of this study was to determine the toxicity of extracts of poison ivy, poison oak, and a polyethylene glycol vehicle (Carbowax R) when given orally to rats.



Selected materials available in the Science Reading Room pamphlet boxes include the following:

American Association of Poison Control Centers. National Data Collection System. Annual report. 1988. [By] Toby L. Litovitz, Barbara F. Schmitz, Karen C. Holm. [s.l., 1989?] 495-545 p.
   Reprinted from American journal of emergency medicine, v. 7, Sept. 1989.

Arnold, Robert E., and Laer Pearce. Burgeoning cult of wild food nourishes fatal misconceptions. Smithsonian, v. 5, May 1977: 48-55.

Bleything, Dennis, and Ron Dawson. Poisonous plants in the wilderness. Enterprise, Ore., Life Support Technology, c1971. 64 p.

Brooks, Patricia. Pretty poison. Family health, v. 9, July 1977: 29, 32.

Cronin, E. H. Tall larkspur: some reasons for its continuing preeminence as a poisonous plant. Journal of range management, v. 24, July 1971: 258-263.

De Wolf, Gordon P. Guide to potentially dangerous plants. Arnoldia, v. 34, Mar./Apr. 1974: 45-94.

Early spring plants may poison livestock. Countryside, v. 68, Mar. 1984: 24-25.

Epstein, William L. Topical prevention of poison ivy/oak dermatitis. Archives of dermatology, v. 125, Apr. 1989: 499-501.

Glander, Kenneth E. Poison in a monkey's Garden of Eden. Natural history, v. 86, Mar. 1977: 35-41, 96.

Hanrahan, John P., and Morris A. Gordon. Mushroom poisoning: case reports and a review of therapy. JAMA, v. 251, Feb. 24, 1984: 1057-1061.

Skulberg, Olav M., Geoffrey A. Codd, and Wayne W. Carmichael. Toxic blue-green algal blooms in Europe: a growing problem. Ambio, v. 13, no. 4, 1984: 244-245.

Wagstaff, D. Jesse, and Arthur A. Case. Human poisoning by zigadenus. Journal of toxicology--clinical toxicology, v. 25, no. 4, 1987: 361-367.



American Association of Poison Control Centers
c/o Dr. Ted Tong
Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center
Health Sciences Center, Room 3204K
1501 North Campbell
Tucson, Arizona 85725
Telephone: (602) 626-7899

International Biotoxicological Center (IBC)
World Life Research Institute
23000 Grand Terrace Road
Colton, California 92324
Telephone: (714) 825-4773

Poisonous Plants Research Laboratory
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
1150 East 14th North
Logan, Utah 84321
Telephone: (801) 752-2941


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