Veterinary Medicine Library

Hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis)

| Description | Distribution | Conditions of poisoning | Control | Toxic principle | Clinical signs | References



Hyacinth is one of all the early spring blooming flowers most favored by home gardeners. It is a bulbous herb of the lily family with its origin in the Mediterranean region and cultivated in many color varieties. Green leaves, 7-8 per bulb, all arising from the ground level, are fleshy, glossy, narrow with smooth margins, 4-12 inches long and about 3/4 inches wide without marginal teeth. Flowers, borne in a dense raceme on a 6-8 inch long stem, are bell-shaped, and eventually open into 6 reflexed tepals. The flower is most well known for its fragrance. Fruits are globose and have 3 divisions. The bulb is 1-1/2 to 2 inches in diameter, light purple or cream colored, and covered with dry skin-like layers.

Hyacinth bulbs
       Hyacinth bulbs


Hyacinths are often potted and grown inside or grown outdoors in gardens.

Conditions of poisoning

The poisonous principle is concentrated in the bulb. Ingesting only a small amount of the bulb may cause stomach upset. Keep the bulbs out of the reach of animals, particularly dogs, cattle, and pigs.

Toxic principle

Contains calcium oxalate raphides in what appears to be ejector cells (similar to Araceae plants). Both bulbs and plants may be irritating to the skin and gastrointestinal tract.

Clinical signs

Hyacinth poisoning is very rare. Clinical signs usually include digestive tract disorders such as colic, vomiting and diarrhea.

Other References:

Hyacinthus orientalis entry in Wikipedia

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