Common Toxic Plants: Danger Disguised | Love The Garden

Common Toxic Plants: Danger Disguised

Amy Drudge's picture
By Amy Drudge, Garden Advisor

With spring almost upon us, thoughts turn to visiting local garden centres and nurseries, to purchase this years plants to brighten up our outdoor spaces. But did you know that some of these colourful and attractive beauties, can actually be harmful to you or your pets health!

The following table shows images of the plant, which part is harmful and how it is harmful (symptoms).


Flower Part That is Harmful Symptoms

White Autumn Crocus in bloom

Autumn Crocus

Photo credit: Get Real Landscaping

Whole Plant

Human - Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Vomiting leading to Convulsions, Cardiovascular Collapse

Animals - Dermatitis, Nervous Excitement, Diarrhea, Bloody vomiting, Shock, Organ Damage and Oral Irritation

Common Bluebells


Photo credit: Plant Life

Whole Plant

Human - Abdominal Pain, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Nausea & Slow Heart Rate

Animals - Abdominal Pain, Vomiting, Diarrhoea

White Cherry Laurel flower Foilage

Cherry Laurel

Photo credit: Geograph

Leaves & Fruit Pips

Human - Oxygen starved from the Central Nervous System

Animals - Abdominal Tenderness, Vomiting, Diarrhoea

Group of Daffodil close up


Photo credit: The Horticultural  Channel

Whole Plant

Human - Stomach upset, lasting several days

Animal - Abdominal Tenderness, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Over Salivating, Temperature & Lethargy.

Deadly Nightshade flower and unripe green berry

Deadly Nightshade

Photo credit: Australian Geographic

Whole Plant

Human - Dryness in the Mouth, Thirst, Difficulty in Swallowing and Speaking, Blurred Vision from the Dilated Pupils, Vomiting, Excessive Stimulation of the Heart, Drowsiness, Slurred Speech, Hallucinations, Confusion, Disorientation, Delirium, and Agitation. Coma and Convulsions often Precede Death.

Animals - Narcosis & Paralysis

Group of Mixed Colour Delphinium


Photo credit: Van Meuwen

Whole Plant

Human - Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Vomiting & Muscular Spasms

Animals - Harmful if eaten in large quantity

Close up Devils Ivy

Devils Ivy

Photo credit: Smell The Flowers Blog

Whole Plant

Human - Skin/Eye Irritation, Stomach Cramps & Vomiting

Animals - Dermatitis, Mouth Irritation, Upset Stomach, Diarrhoea, Seizures, Loss of Balance

Close up of False Jasmine White Flowers

False Jasmine

Photo credit: Planfor

Whole Plant

Human - Weakness, Pupil Contraction, Impaired Vision, Severe Giddiness & Depressed Respiration

Animal - Convulsions

Group of Mixed Pink Foxgloves


Photo credit: Seeds Of Eden

Whole Plant

Human - Slow or Irregular Heart Rate, Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Headache, Weakness, Rash, Blurred Vision, Convulsions

Animal - Heart Arrhythmia, Weakness, Diarrhoea & Vomiting

Group of Pink Hyacinth


Photo credit: Dobies of Devon

Whole Plant

Human - Rash, Inflammation, Blisters, Vomiting, Diarrhoea & Stomach Cramps

Animal - Stomach Upset, Vomiting, Diarrhoea & Lethargy

Laburnum Tree in flower against a Blue Sky

Laburnam Tree

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Whole Plant

Human - Intense Sleepiness, Vomiting, Convulsive Movements, Unequally Dilated Pupils, Severe Dirrhoea & Coma

Animal - Nausea & Vomiting

Row of Leyland Cyprus Trees in a Field

Leyland Cypress

Photo credit: Car Interior Design

Whole Plant

Human - Skin Irritation

Animal - Diarrhoea, Loss of Appetite & Weakness

Terracotta Pot with Lily of The Valley in Bloom

Lily of the Valley

Photo credit: Telegraph

Whole Plant

Human - Dermatitis, Digestive Trouble, Nausea, Vomiting & Drowsiness

Animal - Slow Heart Rate, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Seizures & Severe Heart Arrhythmias

Group of Mixed Colour Lupins


Photo credit: Mr Fothergills


Human - Nervousness, Digestive Problems, Sleepiness, Slowed Heart Rate

Animal - Gastrointestinal Upset, Salivation

Trellis Covered in Blue Flowering Morning Glory

Morning Glory

Photo credit: Morning Glory  Homes

Whole Plant

Human - Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Allergic Reactions

Animal - Stomach Upset, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Severe Agitation

Close up of Passion Flower in Bloom

Passion Flower

Photo credit: Rod Collins

New Young Fruits

Human - Stomach Upset

Animal - Vomiting

Peace Lily in White Pot

Peace Lily

Photo credit: Orlando Outdoors

Whole Plant

Human - Nausea, Diarrhoea, Salivation, Vomiting

Animal - Pawing at Mouth, Drooling, Foaming, Vomiting

Close up of Red Rhododendron in Bloom and Buds


Photo credit: Aberdeen Gardening

Whole Plant Animal - Projectile Vomiting, Abdominal Pain, Diarrhoea, Constipation & Slow Heart Rate

Close up of Mixed Colour Tulips


Photo credit: Imgkid

Whole Plant

Human - Dizziness, Nausea & Abdominal Pain

Animal - Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Difficulty Breathing

Wisteria in Bloom Covering a House


Photo credit: Gardeners World

Whole Plant

Human - Nausea, Vomiting, Cramp & Diarrhoea

Animal - Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Depression


Top Tips to keep you, others & your pets safe while enjoying your garden

  • Always wear gloves when handling plants
  • Teach young children not to play with plants or put anything they find in the garden in their mouth, that they should check with an adult first
  • Position harmful plants in a place where your pet can't get to it
  • If you suspect yourself, a pet or anybody else has ingested a plant or part of, seek medical advice straight away
  • Make sure any toxic plants dug up, or chippings, are disposed of in the correct way
  • Read plant labels when purchasing, to check if they have any toxicity hazards

Links To Useful Information

The Poison Garden website is dedicated to giving information about all sorts of harmful plants -

Dogs Trust has a factsheet you can download or print off, advising all the different plants that are harmful to dogs and the symptoms to look out for -

The Cats Protection has a list of all outdoor and house plants that are harmful to cats -


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