water lilies

Asked July 12, 2018, 10:31 AM EDT

We are clearing some of the water lilies from the front of our cabin. The kids were out there uprooting them for a couple hours and and when they came in their finger nails and toe nails were purple. Now several days later they are still discolored. Is there a 'poison' to these roots? Should we be concerned?

Dakota County Minnesota

1 Response

Several authorities note that Native Americans and others harvest and use portions of the common white water lily (Nymphaea odorata) for medicinal purposes. If that's the plant the children pulled, it probably isn't toxic. The stems and undersides of white water lily leaves are usually purple but we don't know whether the finger and toenail discoloration you mentioned is related to that.