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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FDA Poisonous Plant Database

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AUTHOR(S): Anonymous
TITLE: Toxicity studies of Arizona ornamental plants. Progress report from the Ariz Poisoning control information center at the Univ of Ariz, Coll of Pharm, 1 June 1958.
YEAR: 1958 CITATION: Ariz Med, 15(9), 672-674 [English]
FDA #: F05502
ABSTRACT: Article: Pyracantha cocinea, Fam. Rosaceae: The ingestion of the bright red, berry-like fruit of the Pyracantha shrub has resulted in numerous inquiries at the Arizona Poisoning Control Information Center. It is estimated that during the 1957-58 fruit-bearing season of this shrub (November to March) an average of eight inquiries per week seeking information as to the potential toxicity of the Pyracantha berries were received from parents at the information center. The major portion of the incidents involved small children who obtained the fruit directly from the shrub. Sub-acute toxicity studies were carried out by the pharmacology division with four species of animals, namely - three dogs, two rabbits, six white rats, and six guinea pigs. These animals were fed Pyracantha berries ad libitum for a period of 10 days. it was found that all consumed the berries readily with no need for forced feedings. For example, each dog ingested at least 300 Gms. of the berries each day. Frequently, a dog would eat this quantity within one hour. The average daily diet of the berries for a white rat was 75 Gm. (One adult handful of berries weighs approximately 20 Gms.) A total of 13.7 Kg. (30 pounds) of Pyracantha berries were fed to these animals during the test period. The result of these tests revealed that no animal displayed ill effects from the ingestion of the large amounts of the berries. From these experimental animal studies, it appears that Pyracantha berries are not harmful, especially in a relatively small amounts which might be consumed by children. However, the toxic potential of garden sprays used to combat red spiders on Pyracantha shrubs must not be overlooked when parents are given toxicity information concerning the fruit of this shrub. Lindane, Malathion and DDT are common constituents of thes insecticide sprays. If a child should ingest the berries from a Pyracantha shrub that has been recently sprayed, treatment should be directed to the insecticide with less concern over the Pyracantha berries.
GRIN #: 30398 Exit Disclaimer
COMMON NAME
STANDARD COMMON NAME
FAMILYRosaceae
LATIN NAMEPyracantha cocinea
STANDARD PLANT NAMEPyracantha coccinea M. Roem.
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