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are foxtail lilies toxic to cats?


By Cpjames

rhondda cynon taff, United Kingdom Gb

i have two cats which i need to keep safe, i have heard that some lilies are toxic to cats

On plant Eremurus stenophyllus



All true lilies have pollen which is poisonous to cats. We reduce the problem and extend the flowering time by removing the centre of our lily flowers.
Now I do not know what Foxtaill lilies are so not able to be specific about them.

26 Jul, 2009


We grow a number of lilies and have always had cats. Never had a problem.

26 Jul, 2009


I seem to recall a question recently about these plants, and the answer was that they are poisonous generally, but not specially to cats more than anything else. Bear in mind that over fifty percent of the plants we grow are poisonous if ingested, or sometimes can cause irritant skin contact - unless your cat is going to eat the plants, I'd think there won't be a problem.

26 Jul, 2009


The Foxtail Lily, or Eremerus is not a true Lily, and neither is Hemerocallis, the Daylily.
It seems that only the true Lilies, such as the Asiatics beloved of florists, have pollen that contains an alkaloid that is poisonous to cats.

26 Jul, 2009


Funny I looked up eremurus in one book and it said Liliaceous, but a more modern book said Ashodelaceous. Must have been changed.
The best site for questions about plant toxicity normally, is the Plants for a Future Use one, but it seems to be down at the moment.
And on the question of lily pollen and cats, they only need to get the pollen on them and lick it off for it to affect them and there is no antidote.
Similar to the problem of slug pellets being accidently ingested when cleaning themselves.
As I said removing the pollen bearing part of the lilies does no harm and it does prolong the life of the flower (and the cat!).

26 Jul, 2009


Gosh Owdboggy, thanks for that, I had no idea that lilly pollen on my cats back could harm her! :-S

27 Jul, 2009


I was looking up Foxtail Lily because I was wondering if I could plant this close to a sheep fence where the sheep may reach through and take a nibble. I found a website which says that the edible shoots are sold in markets in Siberia. I certainly hope you have not prejudiced yourself against this plant thinking it a lily. It is high in antioxidants and a healthy and, apparently tasty edible.
Foxtail lily has been long-classified as a member of the lily family. But in 2009, modern DNA-based taxonomists recommended moving the plant to the grasstree family (Xanthorrhoeaceae) because it’s now treated as a close relative of Aloe, Bulbine and Haworthia and is considered a more distant relative of daylilies.

13 Nov, 2015

How do I say thanks?

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