Sometimes danger lurks behind a seemingly innocuous, or even beautiful, exterior. This sad fact is true of both humans and plants. You know to warn your children against the danger of friendly, kind-looking strangers with lost puppies. Unfortunately, danger can also be hidden beneath the lovely hues and sweet scents of the plants growing in your own yard. Keep an eye out for these plants. If you suspect poisoning, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222.
The flowering oleander shrub displays beautiful flowers. However, the leaves of this bush contain a deadly poison. According to HGTV, ingesting just one leaf of this poisonous plant can be deadly to a child.
With their cheery yellow blooms, daffodils are a welcome sign of summer. However, Poison Control warns that every part of this sunny plant contains the poisonous chemical lycorine. Ingesting a daffodil can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. Furthermore, the bulb of this plant contains oxalates, which can burn and irritate the tongue and digestive tract.
Eating the bulbs of tulip plants can cause distressing symptoms of stomach upset, heart palpitations, weakness, and sweating. Furthermore, those who handle tulips regularly may develop signs of an allergic reaction to a chemical, tuliposide, in the tulip plant. “Tulip fingers” refers to a skin reaction of redness, itching, and rash that occurs in those who work with tulips.
Hydrangeas are beautiful flowers that can be poisonous to humans and their pets when ingested. According to Plant Addicts, cyanogenic glycosides in this plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and depression. Cats and dogs who chew on the plants may suffer stomach distress, loss of appetite, and rapid heart rate. While hydrangeas are poisonous, they usually do not cause death.
16. Rosary Pea
If you live in tropical areas of Florida, you may find the rosary pea in your yard. This invasive plant contains a poison called abrin. According to the CDC, abrin poisoning can occur by either consuming or breathing in the seeds. Inhalation of abrin may result in coughing, wheezing, fever, difficulty breathing, and sweating. Consuming abrin can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and hallucinations.
15. White Snakeroot
White snakeroot is a plant that grows in Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio. When cows consume this poisonous plant, it can cause a condition known as milk sickness. In fact, the National Park Service reports that Abraham Lincoln’s mother died from milk sickness caused by this poisonous plant.
14. American Pokeweed
The American pokeweed plant contains colorful berries that may be attractive to children. As tasty as these berries may appear, you should never eat them. According to Poison Control, ingesting pokeberries can result in bloody vomiting, bloody diarrhea, stomach pain, and low blood pressure.
13. Deadly Nightshade
The aptly named deadly nightshade is indeed deadly. This plant, native to Europe, is not commonly found in the United States. According to Poisonous Nature, the berries of this plant are attractive to children due to their strong resemblance to cherries. However, ingesting as few as two berries can be fatal to a child. Meanwhile, consuming one leaf can kill an adult. Symptoms of poisoning include a red face, dry mouth, heart arrhythmias, and hallucinations.
12. Water Hemlock
Alderleaf Wilderness College lists water hemlock as one of the deadliest poisonous plants in North America. Within 15 minutes to six hours of eating water hemlock, cicutoxin can cause seizures, nausea, vomiting, frothing at the mouth, and pupil dilation. Death can occur within hours. According to the U.S. Forest Service, water hemlock can be found throughout the United States and Canada.
11. Lily of the Valley
All parts of the lily of the valley plant are poisonous. However, the sweet, red berries most commonly cause poisoning, as they are attractive to small children. According to Colorado State University, the cardenolides in this plant are similar to digitalis. Symptoms of poisoning from lily of the valley include vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, arrhythmias, and death.
The stalk of the rhubarb plant makes a sour, yet tasty, addition to desserts such as rhubarb crisp or strawberry rhubarb pie. However, the leaves of the rhubarb plant are high in oxalic acid, which can cause kidney problems when eaten. Eating a large number of these leaves could kill you. Furthermore, mistakenly including smaller amounts of these leaves in your salad can cause stomach upset.Related: 7 Indoor Plants That Can Survive with Little Light
The beautiful bell-shaped flowers and red berries of the foxglove plant make a lovely addition to gardens in Europe and the United States. However, every part of this plant is poisonous when ingested. The toxin contained in foxglove is digitalis, a potent heart medication. The Canadian Medical Association Journal reported on an elderly couple who suffered cardiac glycoside poisoning after eating foxglove leaves they had mistaken for salad greens.
8. Virginia Creeper
Virginia creeper is a vine that grows in eastern and central North America. According to Poison Control, the leaves and purple berries of the Virginia creeper contain oxalate crystals, which can be poisonous if chewed or swallowed. Reactions to eating this plant may include swelling and irritation of the lips, mouth, and throat.
The oxalates in this houseplant, Dieffenbachia, can cause pain and swelling of the mouth and throat when ingested. According to CBIF, the painful effects of this plant are often noticed before it is even swallowed. Furthermore, some individuals suffer from inflammation and irritation from handling the plant with their hands.Related: These 12 Houseplants Can Improve Your Health and Air Quality
6. Rhododendrons and Azaleas
According to Poison Control, eating the leaves, nectar, or flowers of either rhododendrons or azaleas can cause irritation to the mouth or stomach. Furthermore, eating honey made by bees who feed on these plants can cause confusion, nausea, and vomiting. Eating the poisonous honey made from rhododendrons or azaleas can also cause life-threatening heart problems such as low blood pressure and irregular heartbeat.
5. Pacific Yew
The Pacific yew is an evergreen tree that grows on the west coast of the United States, from California to Alaska. The needles, bark, and seeds inside the berries of this tree are poisonous. Ingesting yew, which contains compounds similar to digitalis, can cause serious heart problems.
Philodendrons are popular plants found outdoors or used as potted plants indoors. Ingesting the leaves of these plants can cause burning and swelling of the mouth, tearing of the eyes, and stomach upset. Dove Med advises calling 911 if you suspect philodendron poisoning.Related: 13 Plants You Can Use as Medicines
3. Devil’s Helmet
Aconitum, devil’s helmet, monkshood, and wolfsbane are all names that refer to a poisonous plant with beautiful, deep blue or purple flowers. All parts of this plant contain toxins, including aconitine. These toxins are poisonous to both the heart and the nerves. Poison Control lists changes in heart rate, numbness, tingling, nausea, and vomiting as symptoms of aconitine poisoning.
2. Poison Ivy
A resin, urushiol, is the component of poison ivy that causes an allergic reaction when it comes into contact with skin. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of a topical reaction to poison ivy include redness, itching, swelling, and blisters. Furthermore, burning poison ivy can cause difficulty breathing if an individual breathes in smoke from the burning plant.
1. Angel’s Trumpet
If you eat the flower of the beautiful angel’s trumpet, you may soon find yourself in the hospital. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, compounds in this plant that can be poisonous include scopolamine, atropine, and hyoscyamine. Symptoms of poisoning by this plant include hallucinations, rapid heartbeat, memory loss, paralysis, and death.Related: 11 Plants That Help Keep Mosquitoes Away