Saturday, October 10, 2009

More on Those Darned Day Lilies

There must be a reason my career as a scientist never took off. In my last post about the dangers of day lilies, I based my judgement of my flowers on a comparison of pictures I found online. On the other hand, Jan over at Gear Acres took the time to do research on exactly what type of flowers are a danger to cats.

Contrary to my understanding, Jan's research indicates that day lilies, members of the family Hemerocalidaceae, are not toxic to cats. My post linked to a web site that indicts plants of the family Lilium. I failed to make the distinction between the two families. I blame my ability to evade high school biology.

However,
that same web site does state that ". . .some day lilies are toxic to cats causing acute kidney failure." And then that same article links to this web site that quotes a Veterinary Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center saying "Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum), Tiger lily (Lilium tigrinum), Rubrum lily (Lilium speciosum), Japanese show lily (Lilium lancifolium) and some species of the Day lily (Hemerocallis species) can cause kidney failure in cats."

I honestly don't know if our plants were day lilies or true lilies. Until about 12 hours ago I didn't know there was a difference. You may have noticed that I can't even decide if "day lily" is one word or two. I do know that my plants grew from rhizomes (I would guess that's why they grew so willingly) but the flowers seemed to last 2 or 3 days, not a single day as Jan said a day lily lasts (and as the colloquial name would indicate).

I agree with Jan that I would hate to see people pull up their day lilies based on mistaken identity. But, I would rather lose a few flowers than have my Kitten or a neighborhood cat suffer a horrible fate while I did a little more research.

Thanks to Jan (dynochick) for the feedback and for expanding the discussion.

1 comment:

brismod said...

Hi there, I like reading your blog. Who would've thought lilies were that complicated or even possibly lethal to cats?