Toxic Plants

Being aware of toxic plants is important for anyone who works in the garden since there is no single rule of thumb for determining what are potentially dangerous and what are not. Therefore, it is best to be armed with knowledge, and accurate knowledge at that, because there is some very inaccurate information about these plants that can be disastrous. For example, there is a misperception that cooking plants will always remove their toxic elements. Each year many people discover the fallacy of this myth the hard way. In fact, because of exposure to dangerous plants and mushrooms, more than 100,000 people in the United States need to call the Poison Control Center annually. 

For do-it-yourself gardeners, the danger of exposure to potentially toxic flora can be mitigated with some awareness of what to avoid or handle with caution. A little knowledge can go along way to ensuring that the time you spend in the garden is safe, fun, and rewarding. This is especially true if there are children or pets in your home who will be enjoying the garden and who will come in contact with the flora you have planted. 

Therefore, we have included a list of some the more common garden plants which are toxic or that have toxic parts.

  • Azalea (azalea indica)

  • Black Locust (robinia pseudoacacia)
  • Bleeding Heart (dicentra formosa)

  • Buckthorn (rhamnus cathartica)
  • Calla Lily (zantedeschia aethiopica)

  • Carnation (dianthus caryophyllus)

  • Castor-Oil plant (ricinus communis)

  • Cherry Laurel (laurocerasus officinalis)
  • Chinese or Japanese Lantern (physalis)

  • Chrysanthemum

  • Clematis

  • Crocus (colchicum autumnale)

  • Daffodil (narcissus)

  • Daphne (daphne mezereum)
  • Delphineum

  • Elderberry (except the berries)
  • Foxglove (digitalis purpurea)

  • Gladiola (bulbs)

  • Horse Chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum)
  • Hyacinthe (hyacinthus orientalis)

  • Hydrangea
  • Iris

  • Jonquil (narcissus)

  • Laburnum (laburnum anagyroides)
  • Lily of the Valley (convallaria)

  • Morning Glory (ipomaea tricolour)

  • Narcissus

  • Oleander (nerium oleander)

  • Pansy (the seeds of viola tricolour)

  • Peony (the root of paeonia officinalis)

  • Potato (the green spots)
  • Primrose (primula)

  • Privet (ligustrum vulgare)
  • Rhubarb (the leaves)
  • Sweet Pea (lathyrus odoratus)

  • Sweet William (dianthus barbatus)
  • Tomato greens
  • Virginia Creeper (ampelopis brevipedunculata)

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