Can daffodils kill you

Can daffodils kill you! This is a great question and one which summons images of roaming Narcissi with the capability of murderous intent. Of course daffodils are not Triffids, which are themselves a only a figment of author John Wyndham's mind, and neither are they sentient in the way that humans imagine. However the question remains and as some say, there is no smoke without fire. 

Now most gardeners will probably tell you that Daffodils can't kill you, and then question why would you ask such a strange question of one of our most popular and ubiquitous flowering bulbs. However as it turns out, Narcissi produce approximately 80 alkaloids (in particular the notorious alkaloid poison lycorine), some of which are there to protect the plant, but can also be poisonous if accidentally eaten. This has occured when certain species are mistaken for leeks or onions and cooked and eaten. Unintentional poisoning is generally rare due to the strong unpleasant taste realised.

Toxicity among daffodil species does vary, as does the concentration of these toxins within the bulb and the foliage. Ingestion of  Daffodil species N. pseudonarcissus or N. jonquilla is followed by one or more of the following side effects,  salivation, acute abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Unfortunately it doesn't end there as this is followed by neurological and cardiac events, including trembling, convulsions, and paralysis. Death can result if large quantities are consumed and there is documented history of Daffodils being ingested in order to commit suicide. So it is true, Daffodils can kill you.

So imagine that you or someone around had eaten a daffodil, what do you do? Go straight to you nearest Hospital A and E. It is likely that activated carbon, salts and laxatives will be administered, and for severe symptoms intravenous atropine and emetics or stomach pumping may be required.

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