Cordyline fruticosa, also known to as Cordyline terminalis, is a tropical evergreen shrub native to eastern Asia. More commonly referred to as the ti plant, Hawaiian ti plant, cabbage tree or Hawaiian good-luck plant, this colorful addition to your garden is unfortunately considered toxic to our canine companions.
Ti plants are grown indoors as houseplants and outdoors in tropical, humid climates. They thrive in temperatures above 65 degrees in winter, primarily in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. The ti's lance-shaped leaves mature from a reddish color to a deep green and it produces showy clusters of flowers in shades of white and lavender. Native Hawaiians steam and eat the roots of the ti or wrap foods in the plant's leaves to steam or roast them, according to the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
While people may eat cooked parts of it, the ti plant is classified as toxic to dogs by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. If Fido nibbles on this tropical plant, he could experience vomiting, drooling, depression and a lack of appetite. The plant contains toxins called saponins which cause these mild poisoning symptoms. If your pooch has eaten any ti plants, get him to the vet, who can provide him with supportive care like intravenous fluids and medication to treat his symptoms until he fully recovers.
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Cordyline fruticosa
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Ti-Plant
- University of Hawaii at Manoa: Hawaiian Ti
- The International Cordyline Society: What's the Right Name? Cordyline fruticosa or Cordyline terminalis
- Barrington Veterinary Clinic: Toxic Plants -- Dogs
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.