from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A neurotoxin found in the nectar of certain rhododendrons and related plants, such as some laurels of the genus Kalmia, and in unpasteurized honey produced from such nectar, and causing temporary effects such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and irregular heartbeat if ingested.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun organic chemistry Any of a family of
toxinsfound in rhododendronsand similar plants
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
These Rhododendrons have a toxin called grayanotoxin in their pollen and nectar.
The major effects of eating grayanotoxin-containing plants are immediate.
Fatalities from grayanotoxin are rare, but it can cause arrhythmias, sweating, dizziness, excessive salivation, vomiting and diarrhea.
His symptoms led to the conclusion that his troubles were likely caused by grayanotoxin poisoning, also known as rhododendron poisoning and "mad honey intoxication."
Apparently there are so many of these rhododendrons in the pontic area that bees produce honey with high concentrations of the chemical known as grayanotoxin.