Story: Poisonous plants and fungi

Passion vine hoppers

Passion vine hoppers

The vine hopper (with young, above) is a little flying insect that feeds on the sap of many plants and excretes honeydew from its rear end. When vine hoppers feed on the poisonous tutu plant they excrete toxins in their honeydew. Bees harvest the honeydew and incorporate the toxins into their honey. This has no effect on bees, but people have died or become very ill after eating toxic honey.

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Photograph by Jeremy Rolfe

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How to cite this page:

Maggy Wassilieff, 'Poisonous plants and fungi - Poisonous plants used for food', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 13 April 2024)

Story by Maggy Wassilieff, published 24 Sep 2007