COMMON POISONOUS OR

IRRITATING PLANTS

 

STARNOTE 555

June 2009

List for Child and Pet Care Environment

 

 

Homeowners as well as business people are concerned for the safety of their family and customers as regards plants that they may have in their landscape. This gardening bulletin attempts to present some practical methods for increasing safety as well as providing a listing of a number of popular plants that do have some extent of toxicity if ingested.

 

How to prevent poisoning from plants

Plant Allergies

At Risk Plant Listing

Listing Reference note

Can pets get poisoned from plants?

On-line references

 

 

How to prevent poisoning from plants?

Everyone should be aware of the potential danger of plants. Although most plants can be hazardous because they could cause some kind of harm, only a small number of plants are actually deadly. Usually a large quantity of berries, pods, leaves, flowers or seeds must be eaten to cause symptoms. Be aware of plants treated with pesticides or fertilizers. Non-toxic plants treated with toxic chemicals can become dangerous because of the chemicals.  (top)

 

Plant Allergies

Certain individuals may be allergic or sensitive to plants that others are not. Often it is only your physician that can determine whether certain plants will cause problems for you or your family. While the following list is by no means complete, it does represent the most common plants that may be irritating or poisonous. Some youngsters may be more prone to experimental ingestion than others, so your level of caution will be for you to determine. The risk may be due to high toxicity or some attractive feature of the plant. It is very difficult to eliminate every potential risk, but it is practical and wise to understand them and guard against them as appropriate. (top)

 

 

AT RISK PLANT LISTING

 

The following list is not intended to be a complete listing of all toxic plants, but rather those plants that are common to our Southwest Desert Landscapes. Medium and low risk varieties are generally considered safe in a well-managed environment.

 

 

COMMON NAME                           BOTANICAL NAME                 RISK; COMMENTS

AZALEA

Rhododendron species

MEDIUM; all parts

BIRD-OF-PARADISE

Caesalpinia species

LOW; seeds

BOSTON IVY

Parthenocissus tricuspidata

MEDIUM; berries, contact

BOXWOOD

Buxus japonica

HIGH; all parts

CALLA LILY 5

Zantedeschia aethiopica

MEDIUM; all parts

CAROLINA CHERRY

Prunus caroliniana

MEDIUM; all parts

CAROLINA JESSAMINE

Gelsemium sempervirens

HIGH; all parts

CASTOR BEAN

Ricinus Communis

HIGH; all parts

DAFFODILS

Narcissus hybrids

LOW; all parts

DELPHINIUM

Delphinium spp

MEDIUM; all parts

EGGPLANT

Solanum melongena

MEDIUM; green parts

ELEPHANT EARS

Caladium; Alocasia

MEDIUM; all parts

EUONYMUS

Euonymus japonica

LOW; berries

FOUR O'CLOCKS 6

Mirabilis jalapa

MEDIUM; seeds, roots

FOXGLOVES

Digitalis hybrids

HIGH; all parts

HELIOTROPE

Heliotropium arborescens

HIGH; all parts

HOLLY 3

Ilex species

HIGH; berries

HONEYSUCKLE

Lonicera species

LOW; berries

HYACINTHS

Hyacinthus hybrids

HIGH; all parts

HYDRANGEA

Hydrangea hortensis

LOW; flowers

IRIS

Iris hybrids

MEDIUM; flowers, contact

IVY, ALGERIAN

Hedera canariensis

LOW; all parts

IVY, ENGLISH

Hedera helix

LOW; all parts

JIMSON WEED 8

Datura meteloides

HIGH; all parts

JUNIPERS 2

Juniperus species

VARIES; seeds, leaves

LANTANA

Lantana species

HIGH; berries

LARKSPUR

Delphinium hybrids

HIGH; all parts

LOCOWEED 8

Astragalus species

HIGH; all parts

MOCK ORANGE

Pittosporum species

LOW; all parts

MORNING GLORY

Ipomoea species

LOW; seeds

NANDINA

Nandina domestica

LOW; berries

OLEANDER

Nerium oleander

HIGH; all parts

ORANGE MISTLETOE 9

Phoradendron species

HIGH; all parts

PERIWINKLE

Catharanthus; Vinca

HIGH; all parts

PHACELIA 8

Phacelia species

MEDIUM; contact

POTATOES

Solanum tuberosum

HIGH; green parts

PRIVET, GLOSSY

Ligustrum lucidum

MEDIUM; berries, leaves

PRIVET, TEXAS

Ligustrum japonicum

MEDIUM; berries, leaves

RHUBARB

Rhubarb

HIGH; leaves

SAGO PALM

Cycas revoluta

MEDIUM; leaves, seeds

STAR JASMINE

Trachelospermum jasminoides

LOW; leaves, sap

SWEET PEA

Lathyrus hybrids

LOW; seeds

TEXAS MOUNTAIN LAUREL 1

Sophora secundiflora

LOW; seeds

TEXAS UMBRELLA 4

Melia azederach

HIGH; berries

TOMATOES

Lycopersicon esculenteus

LOW; leaves, contact

VIRGINIA CREEPER

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

MEDIUM; berries, contact

WILD NIGHTSHADE 8

Solanum elaeagnifolium

HIGH; all parts

WISTERIA

Wisteria sinensis

MEDIUM; seeds

YEW PINE 7

Podocarpus macrophyllum

HIGH; all parts

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Listing Reference Notes

1.  Prune off faded flowers to avoid seed set.

2.  Most junipers are very low risk; in situations where children would be in constant contact, avoid varieties of Juniperus sabina such as “Tamariscifolia” (Tam Juniper.)

3.  Most Holly plants need a male and female plant to produce berries; plant male varieties if safety is a concern.

4.  Only a small percentage of children react badly, but can be toxic to those with sensitivity. Best avoided in environment with children.

5.  Don't confuse with Cannas, which are entirely safe.

6.  Small children can mistake tuberous roots for potatoes.

7.  Seldom sets fruit in Las Vegas; variety "Maki" essentially fruitless.

8.  Native to Southern Nevada; can show up as a flowering weed in your landscape.

9.  Parasite only on our native Mesquites. Prune off of any wild mesquite in your yard.

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Can pets get poisoned from plants?

As a general rule, plants that are listed as toxic to humans should also be considered toxic to animals. There are a few cases of plants considered non-toxic or mildly toxic to humans causing problems to animals.

Dogs: Onion, Garlic, Heavenly bamboo, Schefflera, Dracaena, Grapes (raisins)
Cats: Calla Easter lily, Philodendron, Pothos, Scindapus
Birds: Avocado

Perspective: Of the combined total of approximately 65,000,000 dogs in the United States, in 1990 less than 1,000 fatalities were reported from poisonous plant ingestion. Pets in general are instinctively aware of the risks from plants. Some pets however, may not be so savvy, especially when young. Some breeds are much more susceptible than others. Check with your veterinarian!

 

On-line reference: http://www.calpoison.org  open “Quick Find” to “Plant Guide” for human sensitivity

http://www.dog-first-aid-101.com/toxic-garden-plants.html for animal sensitivity

 

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© 2009 Star Nursery, Inc.