What Poisonous Plants Grow Wild in Your Garden or Yard?
Plants and Flowers That Are Beautiful But Deadly
Spring is in the air. Everyone is preparing to get busy and get their yards all spiffed up. I hate to be a killjoy but there are precautions to be taken. I guess the message is enjoy it to the fullest, but also get to know what poisonous plants grow wild in your garden or yard that can be detrimental to your health or that of your kids or pets.
Some of these are weeds that grow on their own with no permission from you
whatsoever, but others you have planted. They look lovely but can be toxic. I will list here some plants and flowers that are beautiful but deadly to pets and humans.
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Common Poisonous Weeds
Here are just a few common poisonous weeds that may have sprung up in your yard:
1. Water hemlock is one of the most toxic plants in nature. It is not a lovely decorative plant, but a free growing weed. It will get you when you are trying to get rid of it. And when so doing be sure to wear gloves. It has little white buds that resemble umbrellas, and can reach around a meter in height. It is a member of the carrot family. The stock contains small tubular hollows full of highly toxic brownish liquid and if ingested could cause respiratory failure and death. Do not breathe in the pollen or even the bits flying in the air when you are cutting it out. If ingested seek immediate medical attention.
2. Giant hogweed can grow to eight feet or more and has hollow blotchy purple stems. It is lethal causing painful burns and permanent scarring.
3. Wild parsnip is a shorter plant containing clusters of yellow flowers. They usually grow near the edge of your property as opposed to in your flower beds. If the sap gets on your skin it causes terrible blistering. To get rid of these as well as the poison hemlock, never use a weed eater or chain saw. This is one time a herbicide is necessary. Then wear protective clothing, goggles, a mask, and gloves to gather it up and bag it.
4. Deadly nightshade produces small berries and bell-shaped purple flowers. Eating even a few of these berries can be fatal.
This is just a sampling of poisonous plants that can creep into your yard. It is best to research any new ones that you see before disposing of them. Meanwhile keep your pets and small children away from them.
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The Most Common Poisonous Plants and Flowers that Can Grow in Your Yard
Everyone loves to have a garden bursting with vibrant blossoms and verdant green shrubs, but some of these can also be lethal. Here is a list of the most common poisonous plants and flowers to be wary of:
- elephant ear
- lily of the valley
- desert rose
- aloe vera
- angel’s trumpet
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Flowers That Are Beautiful But Deadly
There are many more, but these are some of the common flowers that are beautiful but deadly (potentially), and may be growing in your yard or garden:
1. Who doesn’t recognize beautiful rhododendrons, blessed with a variety of colors such as red, violet, pink, white, and blue. The full, lush plants can grow to five meters in height and bloom in April or May. But be warned. The honey extracted from them, referred to as mad honey, can cause vomiting, confusion, and cardiac problems.
2. Lily of the valley are beloved for their delicate white bell shaped flowers which bloom in early spring. However they also can be harmful so always wash your hands thoroughly after touching them or wear gloves. They can induce fatigue, diarrhea, and vomiting. After ingesting the plant extreme poisoning can occur, causing irregular heartbeat and mental confusion. They can be deadly to pets.
3. Daffodils are beloved, not only for their lovely color, but because they are always our first sign of spring. They lift our hearts and give our winter doldrums a kick in the pants! However even these delicate flowers have their down side. The lovely daffodil bouquet you put in the centre of your table to bring spring into the house, if left too long, will cause the inhabitants to get headaches. Different parts of the
plants are mildly poisonous but not fatal. Symptoms can include dehydration, vomiting, and stomach ache.
4. Foxglove is also popular for its beautiful blossoms. Also known as digitalis it is widely used as a medication to power up your cardiac system. Unfortunately, if ingested directly, the bright pink or fuschia flowers are deadly poisonous. Antidotes may be needed in life- threatening cases.
5. Hydrangeas are bushes blessed with huge stunning flowers, ranging from pink to purple to bright blue, which can measure thirty centimeters in diameter. They are a lovely addition to your garden from spring until fall. But beware, as all parts of these plants contain cyanide, although in low amounts. They are moderately toxic for pets and children, but on occasion can cause heavy breathing, lethargy, and stomach ache.
6. Wisteria adds charm and beauty to every garden, but unfortunately the seeds are toxic to both pets and humans.
7. Larkspur, those gorgeous blue flower spikes are also toxic to people and pets.
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Flowers That Are Not Poisonous
Here are some alternatives that are not harmful but as lovely as the blossoms we know and love:
1. Choose viburnum rather than hydrangea.
2. Lilac instead of rhododendron.
3. Honeysuckle over wisteria.
4. Bell flowers are an alternative to larkspur.
Plant poisoning can be serious and even deadly. Immediately call a doctor or veterinarian if you see symptoms in a family member or pet. Remove their contaminated clothes. If not showing signs of life apply CPR until help arrives.
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I wish I did not have to write an article about poisonous plants and flowers. I am a huge admirer of all things growing, but especially beautiful flowering plants. A profusion of vivid, many-hued blossoms makes my heart sing. Do not stop enjoying them, please. This is just a precautionary measure to keep you and your loved ones safe, in case any of these poisonous plants may grow wild in your garden or yard.
Happy spring and summer to you all!
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4 thoughts on “What Poisonous Plants Grow Wild in Your Garden or Yard?”
I’m glad you found the article useful! Thanks, Sandro.
Wow thanks for the article! I never suspected that there could be poisonous plants in my garden… you really opened my eyes there! Would have loved some pictures directly inside the article. I had a quick look outside and I actually found Giant Hogweed and Water Hemlock. I’ve recently been interested in finding foraging edible from my backyard. The information in your article really helped me out! Thanks Craig!
Thank you so much, Corinne! Very kind and encouraging words.
And I love your mention of the doctors in Asia who get paid by the number of people who end up well. Just the complete opposite of the West!
Blessings to you!
Your site is very comprehensive and professional. You don’t need a critique. We all could learn from you.
I love the information you provide, especially about edible plants or “weeds” in our garden. I may have heard about fiddleheads only once in my life, but your post about them was very informative and useful. I think you have something for everyone here.
I like the layout and photos, as everyone pulling weeds for dinner wants to be sure that they recognize the plant.
On the other hand, I found it a little difficult to navigate. I never like to leave one article to read another because I forget the thread I started with. But…..You have great content.
I am glad you mentioned that big pharma grows rich while the people grow sick. I read that in Asian villages, a doctor assigned to the area is paid by the number of well people there are. He does not earn a living from the sick. It is his JOB to keep the people well. Makes sense to me.
This was an informative read and the search button offers a lot more.
All the best,