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Ingestion of plants is one of the top 10 causes of poisoning nationwide. Decorative plants are found in many homes, and home landscaped yards provide access to a variety of attractive and potentially toxic plants. Fortunately, serious poisoning from plants is rare in children because the quantity of plant material required to cause serious poisoning is greater than what a small child ingests. Serious toxicity or death from plant ingestion is usually a result of intentional abuse (eg, jimson weed), misuse (eg, various teas steeped from plants), or suicide attempts (eg, oleander).

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  1. Mechanism of toxicity. Plants can be categorized by their potential toxicity. Table II–47 describes the effects of various plant toxins, and Table II–48 provides an alphabetical list of potentially toxic plants and herbs.

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    Table II-47 Plants: Some Toxic Components
    Table Graphic Jump Location
    Table II-48 Plants: Alphabetical List

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