Common name: Rhaphidophora
Botanical name: Rhaphidophora spp. (syn. Raphidophora spp.)
Other common names: Shingle plant
General description: Evergreen climbers cultivated for their lush foliage as an indoors or garden specimen, often rooting along the stem.
Flowers: Flowers are crowded onto a central spike surrounded by a cream to green coloured spathe which gradually falls off after opening to leave a large scar at the base of the spike.
Leaves: Leaves are glossy, entire or divided depending upon the stage of maturity. Juvenile leaves are small, flattened and shingle-like with small petioles (leaf stalks) and appressed to the growing surface. Mature plants generally have larger leaves, often divided with a longer petiole and the blade hanging free from the growing surface. Leaf shape can vary from broadly ovate, oblong ovate to ovate lanceolate.
Fruit/Berries: Fruit is comprised of a sticky pulp on the spike and can vary from dark green, greenish cream to yellow or orange in colour.
Symptoms: All parts of the plant are poisonous. If chewed or eaten, symptoms can include a tingling or burning sensation, followed by swelling of the lips, mouth and tongue. Contact dermatitis may also occur in sensitive individuals.
Toxicity category: 2, 3
Warning: Seek urgent medical attention if lips or tongue become swollen or if there is difficulty breathing or swallowing.