University of Tasmania
1866-Abbott-recent_case_of_poisoning.pdf (711.57 kB)

Notes on a recent case of poisoning caused by the exhalation of rhus radicans (Toxicodendron) at the botanical gardens, Hobart.

Download (711.57 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-22, 10:27 authored by Francis Abbott
A very peculiar case of poisoning, caused by plant exhalation, having occurred at these gardens, it is desirable that it should be recorded, not alone for general information, but more especially as it is possible that the plant in question may, to a limited extent, be under cultivation in other places.
Before describing the case, a few general observations relative to the matter may not be out of place. The genus Rhus embraces numerous species, many of which produce gums and resins used in the manufacture of superior kinds of varnish and some are esteetned for the preparation of leather, while not a few of the species are poisonous to a greater or less degree.
The plant is common in North America, where it is known as poison ivy. The particular plant in question has been in the garden for many years.
It is very probable that the plant may have a more poisonous influence at one season than another, and to this I am inclined to ascribe its effects in the present case, when six persons became poisoned by it at one time, two at least to a serious extent. Symptoms varied slightly between those affected.


Publication title

Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania





Rights statement

In 1843 the Horticultural and Botanical Society of Van Diemen's Land was founded and became the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science in 1844. In 1855 its name changed to Royal Society of Tasmania for Horticulture, Botany, and the Advancement of Science. In 1911 the name was shortened to Royal Society of Tasmania..

Usage metrics

    Royal Society of Tasmania


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager