Monday, November 16, 2015

Stargazer Lily Danger for Cats

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Have you read the book Flower Confidential?


Award-winning author Amy Stewart takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry and how it has sought—for better or worse—to achieve perfection. She tracks down the hybridizers, geneticists, farmers, and florists working to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature can provide. There's a scientist intent on developing the first genetically modified blue rose; an eccentric horitcultural legend who created the most popular lily; a breeder of gerberas of every color imaginable; and an Ecuadorean farmer growing exquisite roses, the floral equivalent of a Tiffany diamond. And, at every turn she discovers the startling intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce.





She writes about Woodruff, a lily breeder.


The Stargazer lily was created in 1974 by Leslie Woodriff, a lily breeder in California, to overcome this downward look. Woodriff called the new cross 'Stargazer', because the blooms faced towards the sky.



As a researcher at heart, I had to learn more....
so I Googled and Wiki'ed


Many commercial florists report that while most consumers love the appearance and the fragrance of the Stargazer lily and other Oriental lilies (e.g. Sorbonne, Starfighter in the pink and Siberia, Casa Blanca in the white), there is a small minority of the public that does not like the fragrance. Symptoms include headaches, nausea, nasal congestion, breathing difficulties or simple dislike of that "stinky smell," and range anywhere from minimal to overwhelming impact on the individual.








The ASPCA reports this plant as being toxic to cats. They are said to cause vomiting, inappetence, lethargy, kidney failure, and even death. Cats are the only species known to be affected. The National Animal Poison Control Center says that certain types of lilies can cause renal failure in cats that have ingested any part of the lily. The Society of American Florists, a floral industry umbrella organization, recommends keeping lilies out of the reach of cats. It is important to note that lilies do not pose a problem for other pets or humans.  The Cat Fanciers’ Association suggests alternatives: Easter orchids, Easter cacti, Easter daisies or violets.





Patti Friday, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'
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