There’s no denying their beauty, but if these plants are ingested, or in some cases merely touched, reactions can range from discomfort to death. It pays to know these potentially poisonous plants, so you can keep children and pets safe around them.
Foxglove is used as an ingredient in some heart-failure medications. Even in its unprocessed state, it can act as an unregulated dose of heart medicine when ingested.
Rhubarb stems are great for making summertime pies, but the leaves are toxic and can even shut down the kidneys.
Wisteria rarely harms humans, but seed pods can be toxic to dogs, cats and horses. Symptoms can include vomiting and diarrhea, and you should head to the vet if you suspect your pet has ingested wisteria pods.
Elephant ear or dumb cane (dieffenbachia) has large, arrow-shaped leaves. Merely brushing against leaves can cause burning or itching, and ingestion can cause airways to swell shut in both people and pets.
Lilies, especially those of the Hemerocallis species (tiger and Easter lilies among them), can be deadly if ingested by cats.
Daffodil flowers can cause allergic reactions in dogs. The bulbs are the most poisonous part of the plant and pose a more serious danger, especially to dogs that like to dig.
Hydrangea blossoms contain cyanide. Humans are generally safe from danger because the amount ingested would need to be substantial. Pet owners, however, should at least be aware of the danger this plant can pose and monitor pets around it.
Oleander leaves and flowers are highly toxic; ingesting a single leaf can be dangerous if not deadly. Symptoms include drowsiness, slowed heart rate and shaking.
Rhododendron and its smaller sibling Azalea are highly toxic from stem to flower to leaf. Ingesting any part of the plant can lead to abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, paralysis, coma or even death.
Water Hemlock is said to be the most violently toxic plant growing in the U.S., per the USDA. It is a weed with small white flowers and smells similar to carrots, making it attractive to pets. The rapid nerve toxin is also harmful to people, so remove any appearance from gardens.
Mistletoe contains a milder toxin that causes digestive problems, slowed heartbeat and hallucinogenic effects in people in large doses. It is also especially harmful to pets.
Get to know the plants around your garden and inside your home, especially if you have children or pets. And always call 911 if a person collapses, has a seizure, trouble breathing or cannot be awakened.
Source: Good Housekeeping