Poisonous Cactuses: Myths, Superstitions and Warnings

Cactus plants are a numerous family consisting of various, sometimes very unusual, succulent plants, many of which are successfully grown as house flowers. As it turned out, among them there are also poisonous cactuses, which contain toxic substances. Which family members fall into this category, are they really dangerous for humans?

Is it dangerous to keep a cactus in the house?

There are no cacti in the list of home plants, which are undesirable to grow in the house. Rare species of these succulents are poisonous, and if there are children and pets in the house, it is enough to place prickly flowers outside their reach. In this case, cactuses will not harm the curious inhabitants.

Particular attention to indoor vegetation cats show, but, as a rule, pricked once or twice, they lose interest in “unfriendly” succulents. In some cases, sharp needles may be absorbed in the skin of particularly “stubborn” animals, but apart from a small abscess, such trauma will not cause complications. In most cases, cactus needles do not contain poison.

In fact, there is no direct evidence that cactus needles can’t be kept in the house. Most often, the contraindications are related to folk signs and superstitions. But, even here you can find moments that can outweigh the scale in favor of these unusual plants:

It is believed that tall, column-shaped succulents help the family quickly get rid of quarrels and resentments.
Cactuses in the shape of long fingers protect the inhabitants of the house from gossip and evil eye.
If you place a prickly flower in the hallway, opposite the front door, it will protect the house from bad energy. The inhabitants of windowsills also cope with the same task.
But, it is worth considering some nuances. Such plants have special energy, so they are not suitable for children’s rooms and bedrooms. Also, if a person does not like cactus, he may feel irritation looking at it, which in turn causes headaches.

Trichocereus is a poisonous cactus

Despite the multiplicity of the family, nowadays only cacti from trichoceraeus tribe are known poisonous. These large tree-shaped succulents grow up to 6-12 meters high in the natural environment, but the room specimens are much smaller, their height does not exceed a meter.

In young Trichoceraeuses, the stem is rounded, reminiscent of a ball, but as they grow older, they are pulled out, turning into a cylinder or becoming a mace. It consists of ribs, the maximum number of which is 10-12.

The coloring of the plant depends on its type and variety, but they are all green. Some varieties have a silver or bluish tint. But there are also trichoceraeuses, which appear on the sides of the branch.

All members of the genus are covered with thorns, which can vary in length from 2 to 12 cm. On the top of the plant appear flowers funnel-shaped, tubular shape, a diameter of 10-25 cm. They may be white, cream, pink, red. On the flower tube and ovary has a small edge. The inflorescences open at night, exuding a pleasant fragrance, which is very attractive to insect pollinators.

Wild plants of this genus produce a poisonous substance mescaline – psychedelic, an entheogen from the group of phenylethylamines, which provides him protection from animals. The component negatively affects the central nervous system, causing paralysis. When penetrating the body, it can cause visual hallucinations, loss of sensitivity of the skin and other organs.

The main types of trichoceraeuses


The group of these succulents includes many species with some differences. But, the most common are the following ones:

Cappuccinus (whitening)
A plant with a column-like stem, which begins to branch with age. On the surface there are large areolae, from which stick out long yellow thorns. Flowers in the form of funnels, white colored.

Cilencius (Chilean)
In the process of growing up, the succulent barbs change amber color to black, and then become gray-white. The plant has a single central thorn, which can be as long as 12 cm.

During flowering, large white flowers appear on the cactus.

Macrogonus (large silvery or large angular).
Woody 1,5-2 m succulent with stems 5-8 cm in diameter. They are green with a bluish tint, branching. Flowers are large, snow-white.
Often the macrogonus is used as a basement plant for other cactuses.

Trichocereus regia (peruvian echinopsis).
This poisonous fast-growing succulent at home was nicknamed the ‘Peruvian Torch’. It is painted blue-green and reaches a height of 6 meters in nature. Tricocereuas Peruvian grows on the western slopes of the Andes in Peru and Ecuador, approximately 2-3 thousand meters above sea level.

Scientists managed to find out that this plant was used by monks of the preinocular culture in the period from 900 to 200 BC and called it “chawin”. The cactus was used to make a ritual drink, ‘ahumu’, which was used to diagnose diseases.

Spachianus (Trichocereus of the Sword)
Green succulent with a shiny surface, the height of which does not exceed 2 meters. It is covered with amber-yellow needles with red base. Flowers are large, with white petals.

The sword’s trichoceraeus grows slowly and is a hardy basement species.

Pachanoi (Trichocereus Pachano).
A tall succulent of the Echinopsis genus, consisting of bluish green, unbrushed stems. It has a little areola, from which stick out 3-7 yellow or brown needles.

Pacano is considered a sacred and ritual plant in South America, which is called San Pedro cactus. Local shamans use it to treat various illnesses and gain spiritual experience. The history of using pacano in ritual acts goes back to ancient times.

During the ceremony of communicating with the energy of the cactus it is possible to achieve lightness and natural relaxation, which allows you to more sensitively feel the subtlest free energies. Inherent parts of the human body – physical and spiritual, acquire weightlessness and mobility, enter into communication with the spirits of the 4 sides and the elements.

Such a state of euphoria is provided by psychotropic substances contained in San Pedro cactus – mescaline, anhalanine, tyramine and others.
Young specimens are good subservient succulents.

Yes, these plants contain poisons, but it is possible to grow them at home, taking into account their characteristics: keep away from children and animals, and work with them by wearing gloves.

However, there are other poisonous flowers, which are no less dangerous and many of them are mistakenly attributed to the cactus family.

Poisonous “not cactuses.
Among the garden and indoor vegetation, the most common are the following species, which also contain toxins, but this has no effect on their popularity:

Beautifully flowering plant from the genus rhododendron, family Vereskovye. Its flowers have high decorative properties and are often used to decorate the premises.

In this case, azaleas are dangerous, their intense smell can cause dizziness, headaches and even loss of consciousness, if you put a large number of flowers in a small room with poor ventilation. The plant contains dangerous toxins that cause serious intoxication of the body.

Aglonaema is fickle
It is an evergreen plant from the family of aroids, which is poisoned with milk juice and fruit berries. If toxic substances from aglonaema get on the mucous eye, they cause irritation and strong inflammation. If the poison penetrates the oral cavity, it causes swelling of tissues and sore throat.

Among the genus of these seemingly harmless therapeutic succulents, there are two species that belong to poisonous plants – aloe scary and striped. They are not used for medical purposes, because when used inside they cause gastric bleeding, and in pregnancy they can cause miscarriage.

Amarillis belladonna (beauty)
This bulbous, charmingly blooming amaryllis plant is extremely toxic. It should not be allowed to get its milk juice on the skin and mucous membranes, as it will cause severe burns. It is used in folk medicine as an expectorant, but for it to help and not cause intoxication, strict dosing is required.

This common room flower has useful properties, for example, is a powerful natural antiseptic. But, its strongest fragrance can provoke asthmatic cough attacks and allergic reactions. Products containing geranium should not be taken by future moms, children and people with low sugar.

These flowering plants are grown not only as garden plants, but also as indoor flowers. In themselves they are not dangerous, as long as their juice does not get into the human body. It causes intense sweating, stomach aches, nausea, scrapes in muscles, poor circulation. In this liquid was found poison cyanide.

Another plant, which is common in culture, is often found in apartments, offices, and foyers. Diffenbahia has a luxurious, glossy, large foliage, which makes the flower so spectacular.

All parts contain toxic milk juice, which burns the skin, causing inflammation, ulceration and itching. Special care should be taken when pruning and pruning. This plant is very dangerous for cats, because even in small doses it can cause their death.

These gentle, beautiful representatives of the plant world have such an intense flavor that causes headaches, nausea and deterioration of health up to consciousness.


In the flora there are a great many poisonous representatives, and often they are in demand in floriculture and horticulture. Ivy, monsters, oleanders, puancetti, spatifillums, ficusas – this is only a small part of plants that contain toxins, which in no way scares away flower growers. However, they do not belong to cacti and may look much more friendly.

Choosing vegetation for home, the owner is better aware of the peculiarities of certain flowers and take care that their poisoning does not harm other residents. And if the succulent liked it very much, you can always find a compromise.

Similar Posts