Plants are not just dangerous because they cause death; they may also harm your health if ingested or inhaled. Some common garden plants contain toxic substances that can cause symptoms similar to those of poisoning.
The following list contains some of the most commonly encountered poisonous plants in North America.
Toxic Plant List
1. Deathcap (Dendrobium) – Deathcaps are small shrubs with white flowers that grow from a single stem.
The entire plant is poisonous and contains amatoxin, which can lead to liver failure. This species of mushroom resembles the edible straw mushroom but does not have a sponge texture on its underside.
2. Oleander (Nerium oleander) – This shrub is very common in southern Europe and can grow as high as seven feet.
The leaves and branches of the shrub contain toxic substances that interfere with heart rhythm.
3. Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta) – This common landscape plant can grow up to 15 feet and is often used in business offices.
It contains toxins that can cause liver and kidney failure.
4. Castor Bean (Ricinus communis) – This plant grows up to 15 feet tall and resembles the native Cyprus tree.
The seeds contain ricin, which is one of the most toxic substances known.
5. Azalea (Rhododendron species) – Azaleas are common landscape plants and can grow up to six feet.
All parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause serious illness or death if ingested.
6. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia magnifica) – This popular office plant grows up to six feet tall and contains a poison that affects the nerve cells.
Chewing the plant causes immediate swelling of the tongue and breathing difficulties.
7. Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana) – This indoor succulent contains a toxic substance that can affect the heart and nervous system.
8. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta) – Sago Palms are very common landscape plants and contain sapotoxin, which can cause liver and kidney failure.
9. Lily of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis) – Also known as May Lilies, this common flower contain cardiac glycosides.
Ingestion of just two bulbs can lead to death.
10. English Yew (Taxus Baccata) – The English Yew is a very common landscape plant and contains toxins that can cause abnormal heart beats, leading to death.
If you have small children or pets, it is important to be aware of the common poisonous plants in your area. If you are not sure what plant might be poisonous, contact your local garden center.
Poisonous Plant Identification Guide
You can use the following poisonous plant identification guide when needed. It was written by an expert on plants and contains all the information you need to know about each plant.
This is a great guide for anyone who wants to learn more about plants and how to identify them. You can also look online for additional information about poisonous plants in your area.
Learning which plants are dangerous can help you to avoid issues and keep your family safe.
Now that you have read this guide, you should understand why poisonous plants can be a serious threat in the wild. Always be aware of your surroundings and know what plants you can and cannot consume.
The next time you go on an outdoor adventure, you’ll have all the information you need to stay safe. Enjoy your time in the wilderness.
Sources & references used in this article:
Most commonly plant exposures and intoxications from outdoor toxic plants by ML Colombo, F Assisi… – Journal of …, 2010 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
The Medicinal and Poisonous Plants of Southern and Eastern Africa being an Account of their Medicinal and other Uses, Chemical Composition, Pharmacological … by JM Watt, MG Breyer-Brandwijk – … Poisonous Plants of Southern and …, 1962 – cabdirect.org
Common poisonous plants and mushrooms of North America. by NJ Turner, AF Szczawinski – 1991 – cabdirect.org
Poisonous plants of South Africa. by BE Van Wyk, FV Heerden, BV Oudtshoorn – 2002 – cabdirect.org
A guide to plant poisoning of animals in North America. by AP Knight, RG Walter – A guide to plant poisoning of animals in …, 2002 – cabdirect.org
Outlines and pictures of medicinal plants from Nigeria by T Odugbemi – 2008 – books.google.com
Monarchs and milkweed: A migrating butterfly, a poisonous plant, and their remarkable story of coevolution by A Agrawal – 2017 – books.google.com