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North American and African genus of the Liliaceae family. There are many species, some of them toxic some not. The toxins in the plants are steroid alkaloids of the veratrum group. Poisoning is characterized by salivation, vomiting, tachycardia, weakness, prostration and dyspnea. Death may occur within a few hours or not for a number of days. The list of toxic plants includes Z. chlorantus, Z. densus, Z. elegans, Z. fremontii, Z. glaberimus, Z. glaucus, Z. gramineus, Z. leimanthoides, Z. nuttallii, Z. paniculatus, Z. venenosus. Called also death camus.