Toxic Garden Plants

Toxic Garden Plants

Although you may use your garden as a relaxing sanctuary, there may be danger lurking in its allure, especially in the case of younger children and your family pets. Some of those beautiful plants you cherish so much for their beauty can easily be disguised as toxic killers, if ingested within minutes, whether they're consumed accidentally or out of curiosity. Here are some common types to be aware of.

 

Foxglove

 

Foxglove is a mysterious looking plant that can grow as high as 3 feet tall with drooping white, pink, or purple flowers along the central stalk that sometimes has dots inside. Digitalis purpurea is its Latin name, which may sound a bit familiar to you since the plant's leaves are a financial resource of the heart drug known as Digitalis. If any part of the foxglove is consumed, you'll likely suffer an episode of nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and mouth pain.

 

Wisteria

 

Wisterias create dreamy sweetpea-like flower cascades with vibrant pink, blue, or white colors from vines that mainly grow in the South. The whole plant is considered toxic. Eating this plant will induce nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps that may require treatments such as anti-nausea pills or intravenous hydration.

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Rhododendron

 

Both rhododendrons and azalea bushes with their attractive bell-shaped flowers look beautiful in the springtime. However, their leaves are quite toxic as well as the honey derived from the nectar of the flower. Consuming these evergreen shrubs will burn your mouth along with increased salivation, a tingling sensation in your skin, diarrhea, and vomiting. Dim vision, weak muscles, and headaches will likely follow. Also, your heart rate may beat strangely or slow down. In some cases, you could even slip into a coma and experience a fatal convulsion.

 

Hydrangea

 

This pretty flowery bush is a common yard ornament that can reach heights of 15 feet high with greenish-white, deep blue, or rose-colored flowers that form large clusters and look as safe to eat as cotton candy to a small child or pet. However, those enticing blooms will cause a stomachache that can develop hours after it's consumed.

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Oleander

 

Every square inch of the entire oleander is toxic, different from other plants that may only have poisonous sap or flowers. Even accidentally inhaling the smoke from burning oleander is toxic. Other issues may arise from using them as marshmallow roasting sticks or drinking the water where the clusters of white, pink, or red flowers were placed. Usually, the symptoms include an abnormal heart rate, whether it's palpitations or slowing down.

 

Lily-of-the-valley

 

These lovely drooping flowers also referred to as mayflowers, are 100 percent toxic, from the very end of their small bell-shaped flowers that demurely fall away like parted hair to the water where they're placed. Ingesting just a bit of the bulb will likely be okay. But, if a great deal is consumed, be ready for nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cramps, diarrhea, and mouth pain. It's also likely that your heart rate will become irregular or slow down.

 

Chrysanthemum

 

Frequently called mums, the yellow and orange varieties of these attractive flowers are usually showcased in the fall around Halloween and Thanksgiving on the front steps of people's homes. There are around 200 species of mums, and although they typically grow rather close to the ground, they can turn into shrubs as well. Gardeners often plant mums to deter rabbits, and the heads of the flower can be rather toxic to humans as well. Touching them can potentially make your skin inflamed or itch.

 

Although extreme cases of plant poisoning are generally rare, be mindful that some domestic garden plant varieties can potentially present a hazard, which can lead to allergies or skin reactions.