Common toxic plants: danger disguised

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).


Part That is Harmful


Autumn Crocus

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


Whole Plant

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

Animals - Abdominal Pain, Vomiting, Diarrhoea

Cherry Laurel

Leaves & Fruit Pips

Human - Oxygen starved from the Central Nervous System

Animals - Abdominal Tenderness, Vomiting, Diarrhoea



Whole Plant

Human - Stomach upset, lasting several days

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


Deadly Nightshade


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




Whole Plant

Human - Abdominal Pain, Nausea, Vomiting & Muscular Spasms

Animals - Harmful if eaten in large quantity


Devils Ivy


Whole Plant

Human - Skin/Eye Irritation, Stomach Cramps & Vomiting

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


False Jasmine


Whole Plant

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

Animal - Convulsions




Whole Plant

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

Animal - Heart Arrhythmia, Weakness, Diarrhoea & Vomiting




Whole Plant

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

Animal - Stomach Upset, Vomiting, Diarrhoea & Lethargy


Laburnam Tree

Whole Plant

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

Animal - Nausea & Vomiting


Leyland Cypress

Whole Plant

Human - Skin Irritation

Animal - Diarrhoea, Loss of Appetite & Weakness


Lily of the Valley

Whole Plant

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

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




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

Animal - Gastrointestinal Upset, Salivation


Morning Glory


Whole Plant

Human - Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Allergic Reactions

Animal - Stomach Upset, Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Severe Agitation

Passion Flower

New Young Fruits

Human - Stomach Upset

Animal - Vomiting


Peace Lily


Whole Plant

Human - Nausea, Diarrhoea, Salivation, Vomiting

Animal - Pawing at Mouth, Drooling, Foaming, Vomiting



Whole Plant

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




Whole Plant

Human - Dizziness, Nausea & Abdominal Pain

Animal - Drooling, Nausea, Vomiting, Difficulty Breathing



Whole Plant

Human - Nausea, Vomiting, Cramp & Diarrhoea

Animal - Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Depression


  • 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 advicestraight 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


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 -

Related articles