“Poisonous plants – can you tell me which ones are?” In this article we share 5 common plants that can be highly toxic.
Most of the time our focus is on plants to provide color where it looks best – indoors or in the landscape. When we buy, plant or grow a plant we seldom think of the plant being some type of possible health hazard – beauty, color, form, function are what our focus is on.
I remember as a kid always being told never to eat the “rosary pea or castor bean plant – they are poisonous and can kill you”!
As adventurous as I was, the “peas and beans” were never tested.
The unfortunate side is that many plants you find in the garden and indoors may be poisonous – not the whole plant but parts of it in certain stages.
Poisonous can be considered from fatal (death) to vomiting or mild upset stomach. Pets, children and even adults can all be at risk.
Buttercups tend to grow in damp spots. There are several different species and many of them are poisonous. Buttercups contain caustic sap that can leave blisters on your skin if you come in contact with it. The poisonous sap also provokes coughing. If it gets into your eyes, it can cause temporary blindness.
2. Cowbane or Water Hemlock
Cowbane, also called Water Hemlock, grows in wet places like on riverbanks. It’s known as one of the most toxic plants on Earth. If you come in contact with it, symptoms can include nausea, seizures and even death.
The most common types of elder are red elder and black elder. While ripe black elderberries are safe to eat, every other part of the plant is toxic. Wash your hands immediately after touching an elder plant. Symptoms include headache, weakness, abdominal pains and occasionally seizures.
Oleander is often used in landscaping thanks to its beautiful pink and white flowers. It’s also grown as a houseplant. While pretty, oleander contains cardiac glycosides that have the ability to alter your heart rate and cause nausea, headache, weakness and even death.
Hogweed is a giant plant that contains poisonous sap. The sap can cause severe skin and eye irritation, along with painful blistering, permanent scarring and even blindness. If you come into contact with giant hogweed, immediately wash the area with soap and water, and keep the area away from sunlight for 48 hours.