Dieffenbachia picta is a potted plant that you will undoubtedly find in every home and store in Santarém. They're traditionally placed at the entrance to the premise, thereby playing the role of warden to bad spirits, the evil eye and negative energies. At the Bosque, we have a few of these plants in vases and others in the ground. They do well in either situation. The name, comigo ninguem pode, means "with me, nobody can". I'm not sure what that refers to but I do know that the plant is poisonous. If ingested, it'll paralyze the throat muscles and it's capable of killing cats, dogs and children. It seems to be a rather strange plant to have around the household under these circumstances but here it is right next to the front door.
Image: Jeremy Campbell