The following list are of plants which are known to be
poisonous or irritant or otherwise harmful. The list is not exhaustive,
As with many things, common sense should prevail.
It is well nigh impossible to remove
everything which is harmless in life. Cars and all forms of
transport can also be dangerous. We learn to recognise the
danger, and then respect it.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and I suspect that there
are many plants out there which are more dangerous. But of
course - other than the scientific studies - we only get to know
about them in the VERY RARE occasion that a problem occurs.
If there is ever a time when you think that someone has
fallen prey to plant toxicity, then try to identify the plant
responsible - but not to delay the visit to a doctor.
There is no sensationalism in naming these plants
- though the odd email suggests that is what we are
about. Education and awareness are the determining
factors. Far better for us to name and identify
plants which have scientific study done upon their
toxicity, rather than omitting a plant name because
of rarity of incident!
Considered to be the most dangerous - some lethal if
- Aconitum -
- Arum - Cuckoo pint.
- Colchicum - The autumn
crocus - Can be fatal if eaten
- Convallaria - Lily of the
- Cytisus - the Broom - All
parts can be fatal if eaten.
- Daphne - Shrub grown for its
beautifully scented flowers - Can be Fatal
- Delphinium - All parts
Highly toxic - can be fatal if eaten
- Digitalis - Foxgloves are
everywhere and can be lethal.
- Gloriosa superba - The
beautiful Gloriosa Lily!
- Laburnum - Beautiful golden
rain flowers; Can be Fatal if eaten
- Lantana - Now very popular
in the summer border or planted tub!
- Nerium - A beautiful
- Phytolacca - The poke weed
- Ricinus communis - Castor
Oil Plant. Not to be confused with Fatsia.
- Taxus - A hedge favourite.
- Veratrum - The false
Lantana (Other colours
Ricinus (Castor Oil Plant)
Laburnum (Golden Rain)
Daphne mezereum Rubrum
Convallaria (Lily of the
The following are also considered to be either poisonous
or skin irritants.
The severity of the problems caused by skin
irritant plants should not be underestimated. Once a
reaction has occurred, it can cause severe skin problems
for years if not life.
Some of those listed below are poisonous - some are skin
allergens. There are more that we will be adding to the
list as time goes by.
- Aesculus - Horse
- Alstroemeria - The
- Aquilegia - Garden
Columbine - Ladies Bonnet
- Caltha - The Marsh
- Chrysanthemum -
now known as Dendranthema - Severe skin irritation
- Datura - Angels
spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
- Dictamnus alba
- Euphorbia - the
- Fremontodendron -
- Gaultheria -
Popular ground cover plant
- Gloriosa Lily
- Hedera helix -
common ivy - or its variegated forms
- Helleborus - The
Christmas or Lenten Rose
- Hyacinthus -
Potted or garden
- Ipomoea - The
Morning Glory (Seeds)
- Juniperus sabina -
Low growing Juniper (Seeds or foliage)
- Kalmia - Calico
- Ligustrum - Privet
- Lobelia - the
- Lupinus - Lupins
- Narcissus -
- Nerium - The
Oleander. Foliage is poisonous, can be fatal if
eaten or chewed.
- Phytolacca - The
Poke Weed or Poke Root
- Polygonatum -
- Primula obconica -
a treacherous house plant. Yet I have handled
thousands of these - as a grower. other gardeners
have perhaps had a day or so handling them, and then
become alergic - seemingly by just being in the
presence of them!
- Rhamnus - The Sea
- Rheum - Looks like
- Ruta graveolens -
sold as a herb - even now without warning!
- Scilla - beautiful
bulbous plant with blue flowers
- Solanum tuberosum
- The POTATO green parts.
- Symphytum -
Comfrey has many toxic properties - A herb indeed!
- Thuja occidentalis
- Often sold as a hedging conifer
- Tulip - The tulip
bulbs can be severe skin allergen
- Comfrey -
Sometimes white or blue flowered - Toxic!
By David Hughes -