Dieffenbachia Species – toxic, yet an air purifier!

Dieffenbachia Amoena 'Tropic Snow' Leaves of Dieffenbachia Maculata Dieffenbachia 'Star Bright'

  • Botanical Name: Dieffenbachia species.
  • Common Name: Dumb Cane, Spotted Dumbcane, Leopard Lily
  • Family name: Araceae
  • Plant type: Indoor ornamental foliage/shrub
  • Brief plant info: Prefers semi shade, needing lots of water
  • More plant info and images: Check at Clemson University, HGIC and Brian’s Garden for dieffenbachia/dumbcane facts, culture and images!

We had always known that Dieffenbachia are very toxic plants and had been warned repeatedly never to ingest its leaves or else we’d become dumb! Of course, we’re not that hungry to be fools!! :D Whatever, these plants had always attracted us with their beautiful foliage and are definitely irresistable and a must have for our garden! Besides adding colour, they’re great for landscaping too!

And we have quite a number of them as seen in our Dumb Cane set. Some of the cultivars are Dieffenbachia Maculata, D. Amoena ‘Tropic Snow’, D. ‘Star Bright’, D. Bowmannii ‘Carriere’ and other yet to be identified cultivars! Our oldest Dumbcane (D. Maculata) planted about 5 years ago is reaching the sky so to speak, towering about 9 feet tall! Hmm…have to stand on a high stool to wipe its leaves, so we normally use the garden hose and shower it every week! ;)

Dieffenbachia is one of the most spectacular houseplants and is grown chiefly for its large, variegated, leafy foliage. There are so many cultivars with leaves varying in formation and in degree of variegation and color. They are tough, easily maintained and withstand the indoors well. Furthermore, in spite of its toxicity, they’re useful plants for cleaning and purifying our indoor air. Just love them!!

Updates –

March 31, 2007 – Do you know that Dieffenbachia flowers?

Dieffenbachia Bowmannii 'Carriere'February 25, 2008 – Dieffenbachia Bowmannii ‘Carriere’ is such a floriferous cultivar that has not cease to amaze us since it first flowered last March. Flowers every third month, each time with 4-5 blooms and flowers are long-lasting, almost 2 months. Amazing!! :)

Last edited: August 25, 2010

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3 Responses to “Dieffenbachia Species – toxic, yet an air purifier!”

  1. nys dibaratun Says:

    i need many many info about this species for my thesis.. i badly need help.. thankyou,, more power!!
    MSU-Marawi City student

  2. Peter Coyle Says:

    Hi, I have just bought a dieffenbachia from our local nursery. Just wondering how tall do they grow indoors? Also how good are they as an air purifier? I tried to get a pothos for the last year and my nursery seems unable to get one for me. Maybe you could suggest where I would get one.?


  3. Jacqueline Says:

    Hi Peter,
    Dieffenbachia come in variable sizes – thus the probable height of your plant depends on the variety you’re growing. You can find that out from your local nurseryman. And, please google search further for your last 2 enquiries.

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