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Poison Dart Plant Aglaonema commutatum

Previously known as:

  • Aglaonema marantifolium var. commutatum
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

This herbaceous perennial is commonly grown as a houseplant. Evergreen tropical perennial shrub to 150 cm, erect and bushy. It resembles dumb cane (Dieffenbachia). It has elliptic dark green lance-shaped leaves that reach 4-8" long and 2-3" wide. Attractive silver-gray blotches appear on upright stems.  Blooms rarely as a houseplant in the late summer or early fall with a white spadix and green spathe.  Red clusters of berries follow the blooms.  Does well in in diffuse sun or good indirect light.  Prefers high humidity but will tolerate dryer air.  Keep the potting mix moist from spring to fall.  Does not require a winter dormancy period but prefers a reduction in watering during the winter.

Desired for its erect, green leaves variegated with yellow/cream; tendency to get leggy with age as stem grows, gets cane-like and bends over; excellent plant for low light situations such as exist in most homes; used as filler, or low hedge. Prefers low to medium light, moist soil and medium relative humidity; intolerant of constantly wet soil and of direct sunlight; some pest/disease problems.

There are serious disease or insect problems but watch for aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, or scale. Root rots can occur with over-watering. Leaves may turn brown in very dry air or drafty location.

 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Stem present, becoming sugarcane-like with age
  • Lanceolate leaves are green variegated with yellow/cream
  • Leaves contain 5-8 main lateral veins
  • Inflorescence is greenish-white spadix/spathe

Distinguished from Dieffenbachia by tendency to have only 5-8 main lateral veins. Distinquished from A. nitidum by predominence of green coloring and presence of yellow/cream variegation in A. commutatum. 

Spreads: 12-18 inches

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Frasher'
    Leaves are milky green with cream variegation and white petioles.
  • 'Pseudobracteatum'
    Leaves are spattered gray-green, spotted white with white coloration around main veins and with white stems spotted with green.
  • 'White Rajah'
    Leaves have massive amount of white coloration throughout.
Tags:
#tropical#evergreen#poisonous#houseplant#perennial#shrub#container plant#dark green#low light#variegated leaves#silver#high humidity#dappled sunlight#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Frasher'
    Leaves are milky green with cream variegation and white petioles.
  • 'Pseudobracteatum'
    Leaves are spattered gray-green, spotted white with white coloration around main veins and with white stems spotted with green.
  • 'White Rajah'
    Leaves have massive amount of white coloration throughout.
Tags:
#tropical#evergreen#poisonous#houseplant#perennial#shrub#container plant#dark green#low light#variegated leaves#silver#high humidity#dappled sunlight#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Aglaonema
    Species:
    commutatum
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Philippines, northeastern Celebes
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    high humidity
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herbaceous Perennial
    Perennial
    Poisonous
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Red clusters of berries follow the blooms. A globose to cylindroid berry, green ripening to white or red.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Blooms rarely as a houseplant in the late summer or early fall with a white spadix with green spathe. Cylindrical to club-shaped; spathe stalked, ovate, greenish to yellow.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Variegated
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    It has elliptic dark green lance-shaped leaves that reach 4-8" long and 2-3" wide. Alternate, simple, oblong-lanceolate, acute, cuneate, entire, banded yellow-white along primary veins or spotted; petioles sometimes white.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Attractive silver-gray blotches appear on upright stems. Erect, becoming decumbent, encircled with leaf scars.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Houseplants
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Humidity
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    This plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which is toxic if ingested or if the juice/sap is touched (dermatitis). More so a concern for dogs, cats, and horses but can a concern for humans. Animals may have the following symptoms: struggle to swallow, irritated/painful--even burning/swelling mouth (including lips and tongue and esophagus), may vomit, foam at the mouth, and much drooling. To humans and animals, it is poisonous if ingested (or if the juice from the plant is touched). Other symptoms (more so for humans) include a rash, pain where the rash is, and mucous membranes irritated.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Calcium oxalate crystals
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Fruits
    Leaves
    Roots
    Seeds
    Stems