Elephant ear plants are indoor or outdoor plants with very large, arrow-shaped leaves. Poisoning may occur if you eat parts of this plant.
This is for information only and not for use in the treatment or management of an actual poison exposure. If you have an exposure, you should call your local emergency number (such as 911) or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.
Note: Leaves and stems are the most dangerous when eaten in large amounts.
Elephant ear grows naturally in tropical and subtropical areas, but is easily found in northern climates as well.
Redness, pain, and burning of the eyes
Severe burning in the mouth and throat
Swelling of the tongue, mouth, and eyes
Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Wash off any plant sap on the skin and in the eyes.
Do NOT make a person throw up unless told to do so by poison control or a health care professional.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
Person's age, weight, and condition
Part of plant swallowed
The National Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222) can be called from anywhere in the United States. This national hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does NOT need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Take the plant with you to the hospital, if possible.
Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.