The goals of the Poisonous
Plants of Georgia project are to assemble the available information regarding
toxic plants found in Georgia and to make this information easily accessible
to the general public through the publication of an internet website. Currently,
no reference exists that identifies the poisonous plants of Georgia. The website
serves as a unique opportunity to provide an intellectual and practical electronic
resource which directly impacts the residents of Georgia.
An unpublished list of
suspected poisonous plants compiled by Dr. Wilbur Duncan, Dr. David Giannasi,
and Patrick Sweeney through University of Georgia's Herbarium served as the
starting point for this project. They found approximately 165 plant species
of toxicological importance native or naturalized in the state. This list was
cross-referenced with the Distribution of the Vascular Flora of Georgia by Jones
and Coile (1988), distribution information gathered from the USDA PLANTS national
database (http//plants.usda.gov), and an
informal survey of voucher specimens at the herbarium of the University of Georgia.
This resulted in a list of approximately 60 plants that were either common to
Georgia or posed a significant toxic threat to humans and animals in the state.
A search of the scientific literature was completed for each of the 60 plants targeted in this project. Cited sources include medical, botanical, veterinary, agricultural, and toxicological literature. Anecdotal information regarding toxicity was avoided. The information gathered for each species included the scientific and common names, genus or species description, toxic part (for example leaves or flowers), toxin or toxins found in the plant, symptoms associated with ingestion or contact, and recommended treatment. This research was condensed into summaries for each plant genus included in the project. Additionally, photographs of each genus were collected for inclusion in the website. Sources of photographs include the Dr. Wilbur Duncan, Lisa Kruse, and the Elissa Totin.
This website was designed and created by Elissa Totin, a Master's student in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia under the advisement of Dr. David Giannasi, Dr. Barry Palevitz, and Dr. James Affolter. Please email email if you have any comments regarding this site.