Homeowners should consider a variety of factors when choosing plants to display in and around their home. Indeed, despite their beauty, various plants are toxic to humans and animals.
Avoiding potentially poisonous plants can prevent injury and even death. Here is a list of plants that homeowners may want to avoid.
• Rhododendron: Rhododendrons produce clusters of flowers that bloom in the spring. They also produce thick, glossy leaves that thrive in fall and winter in many areas. If any part of the plant is swallowed, it can induce vomiting and potentially slow the pulse.
• Lily of the valley: This popular plant grows low to the ground, blooming bell-shaped, fragrant flowers. If large doses of this plant’s toxin are ingested, it can gradually slow down the heart and potentially prove fatal.
• mute cane: Dieffenbachia houseplant, commonly known as Dumb cane, adds tropical appeal to interiors. The sap of the plant causes the tongue to burn and swell, enough to block air in the throat. It can be fatal if ingested by pets and humans.
• english ivy: This must-have draping vine is lovely cascading from planters or shelves. While its toxins must be ingested in large amounts to cause problems, English ivy can cause skin irritation, rashes, and fever, especially after eating the berries.
• bittersweet nightshade: Bittersweet nightshade grows as a weed on some properties. It’s especially problematic for those with pets or young children because of the brightly colored berries it produces. The highest level of toxicity comes from these berries.
• Foxglove: According to The Spruce: Decor, foxgloves are among the most poisonous specimens commonly grown in landscapes. They are highly coveted for their bell-shaped pink, purple and white flowers that grow in tall spikes. They are also deer and rabbit resistant, which makes them particularly popular. However, foxgloves contain powerful cardiac glycosides that can be deadly in high doses.
• Philodendron: Philodendron are easy to care for and hearty. Although not fatal, a philodendron sting can irritate the skin and cause nausea and swelling of the mouth, throat and tongue. Similar effects occur with Pothos, another common and hearty houseplant.
• Yew shrubs: The needle-like leaves of this shrub are poisonous to humans and animals, as are the fleshy, bright red berries that produce poisonous seeds. Children may be tempted to pick and eat these bright berries.
• Palm trees: Several different palms are toxic to people and pets. Palm trees are an overlooked source of poisoning tragedies in warmer climates. Formosan palm, sago palm, sago palm, and cardboard palm are some of the varieties that can cause problems if ingested or allergic skin reactions if touched.
When planning a landscape, work with a qualified gardening expert to choose plants that won’t be dangerous to family and pets.