The Lottery Plant

In Panama this plant is very popular in offices and homes alike.  It is interesting to point out that some people will look at the leaves closely in an effort to find numbers which can be purchased at the Panama National Lottery.  Some will say that they have won considerable amounts of money betting on the numbers found on the leaves.

In view of the above, the plant is referred to as “the lottery plant” or the “millonaria plant”.  It’s beyond belief what some people will do to make a fast buck.  The fact of the matter is that the scientific name of the plant is Dieffenbachia amoena which will grow up to six feet tall, and are known for their wide, bushy leaves.

The Dumb Cane plant (another of its popular names) is a strong little species that will thrive in any light conditions other than direct sunlight. Its easy to care for style and resilience to neglect make it a wonderful house plant.

Each plant features leaves which are yellow or white near their vein, abruptly turning a dark green toward the edge of the leaf. This transition is random, even within the same leaf, creating ribbons and spots of yellowish white and green along the leaf’s body.

Don’t be fooled by its innocent look.  This plant is poisonous, and should not be permitted near children or pets (cats & dogs). The sap of the plant is acrid, and, when ingested, will numb the throat and vocal cords, rendering the victim mute for up to two weeks until the poison wears off. The sap is highly irritating to the skin, and any interactions with the plant which result in sap exposure should be washed thoroughly.

Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

We were fully unaware of the its poisonous characteristic.  To play it safe, we are planning to remove it from our garden to avoid any possible harm to The Twisters when they visit us.  You all know how young children are—everything goes to their mouth.

Good Day!


10 thoughts on “The Lottery Plant”

    1. Morning Ana:

      It really frightened me when I learned about the poison. She looked so innocent growing in our front lawn. She is gone now. We want to keep the Twisters safe.

      Enjoy the rest of your linguistic day,


  1. Hola Omar,
    Just like with frogs and snakes, the brightest colors are a warning to stay away. I think we will stay with birthday and anniversary dates for our lotto numbers (actually Nena’s numbers, she sometimes buys lotto for us both). 🙂

    1. Update: I just showed Nena the photo and she already found some numbers! haha She also cautions about the poisonous sap from the plant.
      Ciao. jim

    2. Morning Jim and Nena:

      Just for fun, my wife and I searched all over the leaf looking for numbers. Couldn’t find any. Your wife surely has a good eye.

      Talking about Lotto. I read the other day about a Lotto that was almost a billion bucks. Seems to be, the sky is the limit for gambling. We prefer to wait for our modest pension check every two weeks. 🙂

      Take Care,


  2. We always had Dieffenbachia as houseplants, but I suspect they were different species. The sego palm is another one that people here have to worry about, as its nuts are poisonous to dogs, and can kill them rather quickly.

    I’ve never heard of — or thought of — counting spots on leaves as a way of picking lottery numbers. Of course, I don’t play the lottery, so there you are. When the scratch-off cards first were introduced, I did buy a few of those. After I won $200, I quit. As another idiom here says, “Quit while you’re ahead.”

    1. Morning Linda:

      Panamanians are passionate about gambling. Everything is up for grabs: Poker, Bingo, Lottery, Horse Races, Roulette, Sport Bets, Black Jack, Slot Machines, and so on and so forth.

      On earlier posts, I’ve covered this subject. Fortunately we are immune to this disease. It’s good for our personal finances, if you know what I mean.

      That was a wise decision my dear Linda. Quit before they fleece you up again and return home broke. Gambling is a “lose-lose” situation.



  3. We had one of those plants in the house for years and it got so tall and big that we cut it up and many smaller potted versions to give away. We eventually, got rid of our because it kept tipping over and making a mess.

    I, too, have an aversion to buying lottery tickets or gambling. I don’t want to lose our hard earned income 😉

    1. Hello Barbara:

      You did a good thing by removing this dangerous plant from your house. I was very worried after I read about the poisonous sap that has the potential of killing a person. Scary!

      Yeah, speculatory games is a “lose-lose” activity. Money is too scarce to throw it up in the air. I totally agree with you, we have to protect our “hard-earned income”.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s