Use caution with these poisonous plants
Avoid, or take precautions, when using these poisonous plants in your garden or in your home. If children or pets have access to them, you need to know the dangers presented by these plants. Some listed here are commonly known, some may surprise you as they are widely used. If you have pets known to nibble, use a pepper spray to deter them from these plants. Small children, who taste everything, should be carefully supervised if poisonous plants are present. These are the more toxic plants commonly used indoors and out, but there are others.
*Plants listed with an asterisk are the most toxic.
Amaryllis: (Hippeastrum spp) Only the bulbs contain poison and is present in small quantities, so very large quantities of the bulb must be eaten to present a danger. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
*Angels Trumpet: (Datura/Brugmansia spp) All parts of the plant are toxic and potentially fatal, especially the seeds. Symptoms include dilated pupils, trembling and agitation, delirium, and convulsions, appearing from a few minutes to several hours.
Arrowhead: (Nephthytis spp, Syngonium spp) All parts of the plant are poisonous, and causes severe mouth pain if eaten. Symptoms include irritation of the lips tongue and throat.
Autumn crocus: The bulbs cause vomiting and nervous excitement.
Azalea: (Rhododendron spp) All parts can be fatal. Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration and coma.
Bird of Paradise: (Strelitzia spp) The seeds are poisonous to dogs.
Black Locust tree: The bark, sprouts and foliage are poisonous. Causes nausea, weakness and depression after chewing the bark and seeds.
Bleeding Heart: The roots and foliage may be poisonous in large amounts. Can be fatal to some cattle.
*Castor Bean: (Ricinus spp) The seeds can be fatal. One or two castor beans are near the lethal dose for an adult. Even repeated contact with the plant can be poisonous, where gloves whenever handling.
*Cherry trees: Both wild and cultivated twigs and foliage contain a compound that releases cyanide when eaten. Gasping, excitement and prostration are symptoms. Can be fatal.
Clivia: (Clivia spp) Kaffir lily is only toxic if large quantities are eaten, any part of the plant. Symptoms include nausea, salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. paralysis if large enough quantities are eaten.
Crown of thorns: (Euphorbia spp) Contact with the skin and eyes can cause irritation. If eaten, symptoms include abdominal pain, blistering and irritation of the mouth and throat, and vomiting.
Cyclamen: (Cyclamen spp) The rhizomes (roots) can cause minor skin irritation. If eaten in large quantities can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, paralysis.
Daffodil: (Narcissus spp) The bulbs cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and can be fatal.
*Daphne: (Daphne burkwoodii) All parts of the plant are poisonous. The berries are fatal, a few berries can kill a child.
Dumbcane: (Dieffenbachia spp) All parts cause intense burning in the mouth and can cause the tongue to swell, perhaps to the point of suffocation.
Elderberry: All parts are poisonous, but especially the roots. Children have been poisoned by using pieces of stem for blowgrass. Causes nausea and digestive upset.
Elephant ears: (Colocasia spp) All parts cause intense burning in the mouth and can cause the tongue to swell, perhaps to the point of suffocation.
English boxwood shrubs: Eating the leaves can cause gastric problems and vomiting.
*Flowering Tobacco: (Nicotiana spp) All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, slow pulse, dizziness, collapse and respiratory failure.
*Foxglove: (Digitalis spp) All parts are toxic and potentially fatal. It is poisonous, as well as the source for digitalis, a common heart medication.
Frangipani: (Plumeria spp) Touching this plant can cause skin irritation. Ingesting any part of the plant can cause stomach pain and cramping.
Glory lily: (Gloriosa superba) Ingesting the tubers can cause severe gastroenteritis, vomiting and possible unconsciousness. Severe hair loss is a long term symptom symptom.
Golden Chain: The bean like capsules encasing the seeds can cause severe poisoning. Excitement, staggering, convulsions and coma may occur. May be fatal.
Hyacinth: (Hyacinthus spp) The bulbs cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and can be fatal.
Holly: (Ilex spp) Eating the berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Hydrangea: (Hydrangea spp) Ingesting the buds or leaves may cause vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and labored breathing.
Ivy: (Hedera helix) All parts of English Ivy are poisonous. May cause skin irritation from the cell sap. Eating the berries may cause burning in the throat. Eating the leaves may cause delirium, stupor, convulsions, hallucination, fever and rash.
Iris: The underground stems cause severe but not usually serious digestive upset.
Jerusalem cherry: (Solanum pseudocapsicum) All parts are poisonous, but especially the unripened fruit and the leaves. Symptoms include drowsiness, diarrhea, enlarged pupils, stomach pain, vomiting, headache, delirium, hallucinations, coma, slowed breathing and slow pulse.
*Jack-in-the-pulpit: (Arisaema triphyllum) The entire plant is poisonous, but the bright red berries in fall attract both children and animals. Symptoms include irritation of the mouth, lips, and throat, and increased salivation.
Japanese Yew: All parts are poisonous except the berry.
Jasmine: The berries can be fatal. Causes digestive disturbance and nervous symptoms.
Juniper shrubs: Eating large amounts of the berry like cones can cause kidney damage.
*Lantana, yellow sage or red sage: (Lantana camara) The leaves and immature fruit are poisonous and potentially lethal. Symptoms include labored breathing, diarrhea, dilated or pinpoint pupils, vomiting and extreme weakness
*Larkspur: Young plants and seeds cause digestive upset, nervous excitement and depression. May be fatal.
Lily: (Lilium spp) All parts of the plant are poisonous if eaten. Can lead to renal failure, anorexia, depression.
*Lily-of-the-valley: (Convallaria majalis) All parts can be lethal, especially to cats and dogs. Symptoms include abdominal pain, headache, nausea, dilation of the pupils and vomiting. The leaves and flowers cause irregular heart beat and pulse, along with digestive upset and mental confusion.
Lobelia: (Lobelia spp) All parts of the plant are toxic if large quantities are eaten. Causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion, weakness, dilation of the pupils, convulsions and coma.
Milkweed: (Asclepias spp) Cattle, sheep and horses are most susceptible. If eaten may cause toxicosis and possibly death. Symptoms include salivation, incoordination, violent seizures, bloating and colic.
Monkshood: The roots cause digestive upset and nervous excitement.
Mountain Laurels: All parts are fatal. Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration and coma.
Narcissus: The bulbs cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and can be fatal.
Oak Trees: Foliage and acorns can affect kidneys gradually. Symptoms appear only after several days or weeks. Takes a very large amount for poisoning.
*Oleander: (Nerium oleander) All parts are poisonous and potentially deadly. Even using the twigs for grilling marshmallows over a campfire can pose a threat. Symptoms in humans include abdominal pain, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, and coma. Symptoms in pets include rapid breathing, elevated heart rate and dilated pupils.
Peace Lily: (Spathiphyllum spp) When eaten will cause irritation and burning in the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
Philodendron: (Philodendron spp) When eaten will cause irritation and burning in the mouth, lips and tongue, excessive drooling, vomiting and difficulty swallowing.
Pothos: (Epepremnum aureum) When eaten will cause irritation and burning in the mouth, lips and tongue, diarrhea. Frequent contact can cause skin irritation.
Ranunculus: (Ranunculus spp) If very large quantities are eaten, causes burning of the mouth, abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Contact can cause skin redness, burning and blisters.
Rhododendrons: All parts can be fatal. Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration and coma.
Rhubarb: Very large amounts of raw or cooked leaves can cause convulsions, coma, followed rapidly by death.
*Rosary Pea: The seeds can be fatal, a single Rosary Pea seed has caused death.
*Siberian Squill: (Scilla siberica) Leaves, blooms, bulbs and seeds are all toxic. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Other Scilla species may cause irritation to sensitive skin.
Star of Bethlehem: The bulbs cause vomiting and nervous excitement if eaten.
*Sweet Pea: (Lathyrus spp) Both the annual and perennial form are dangerous. All parts are poisonous, especially the seeds. Most poisonings occur in animals. Symptoms are gradual and life-threatening, including aneurysm, scoliosis and frail bones.
Umbrella Plant: (Schefflera spp) The leaves and the cell sap from all parts are poisonous. May cause skin irritation, and if eaten, vomiting, numbness, tingling in the mouth, lack of coordination.
Virginia Creeper Vine: The sap of the plant may cause skin irritation.
Winter Cherry: (Solanum spp) All parts are poisonous, but especially the unripened fruit and the leaves. Symptoms include drowsiness, diarrhea, enlarged pupils, stomach pain, vomiting, headache, delirium, hallucinations, coma, slowed breathing and slow pulse.
Winterberry Shrubs: Eating the berries can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
*Wisteria: (Wisteria spp) All parts are poisonous. As few as one or two seeds can severely poison a child. Symptoms include abdominal pain, dehydration, nausea, vomiting and collapse.
*Yew: The berries and foliage can be fatal. The foliage is more toxic than the berries. Death is usually sudden with no warning symptoms.
For poisoning information and help go to www.aapcc.org
If it is an emergency call 1-800-222-1222