Shire of Mundaring sounds warning over blooming arum lily

Enviromental supervisor David O'Brien with arum lilies. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au   d473587
Enviromental supervisor David O'Brien with arum lilies. Picture: Bruce Hunt www.communitypix.com.au d473587

ARUM lilies are in full bloom in the Shire of Mundaring and despite their beauty are poisonous and a declared pest in WA.

The white flower with glossy leaves is dangerous to children and pets if swallowed.

Shire environment and horticulture supervisor David O’Brien said the South African plant preferred to grow near wetland and had flourished to 1m heights in favourable conditions within the Shire.

“Their large seeds can be spread via flowing water, birds and livestock. Not only are they toxic to humans and animals, the lilies crowd out native plants and choke our waterways, causing disruption to the natural water flow,” he said.

“If an animal eats the lily, whether they are growing on the property or in a vase as cut flowers, it can lead to serious consequences.

“Unfortunately, some people pick the lilies to have around their home because they look nice, without knowing they are a poisonous weed and potential danger to inquisitive children and pets.”

Anyone who suspects a child has ingested part of an arum lily should immediately call the Poisons Information Centre on 131 126 for advice.

If a pet has eaten part of a lily or is showing symptoms of poisoning, pet owners should urgently contact their vet. Symptoms can include irritation and swelling of the mouth, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Mr O’Brien advised residents to cut off the flower heads before they spread more seeds.

He said manual removal of the lilies was only effective with younger plants and if all the root fragments were removed.

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