Some of those nasty ones have
beautiful flowers, some smell especially good, others have gorgeous
leaves, but all of them can be dangerous to the innocent!!! One author I
read states that every year nearly 69,000 are poisoned by plants.
beautiful flowers in a number of yards and greenhouses in
found in yards as an 8 to 10 foot gorgeous background is the Castor Bean (Ricinus
communis). There are both red
and green leafed plants and again the flower pods are a bright red, spiny,
and filled with speckled seeds. You
may have grown up being given a dose of castor oil for constipation but
ricin (the poison) has been removed. Castor oil is also used in cosmetics
so it is not all bad. In the
last few years the seeds and pods have been ground up to put in mole holes
in the lawn. I have not seen any research on how well it works in chasing
them out. Only the seeds are
poisonous so if you have kids, remove the pods as soon as they form and
you can keep the big plant.
Most people are
aware that they should not eat the leaves of Rhubarb (Rheum sp) while the
stems are used for a number of delicious dishes.
The reason is the oxalic acid found in the leaves that can cause
breathing as well as gastrointestinal problems.
house plants you may have a Sago Palm (Cycas sp). It is listed by the
ASPCA as the most poisonous house plant for pets. Some dogs or cats like
to gnaw on plants. I have just
read that the Pencil Plant I have has a sap that some are very allergic to
and recommends gloves if pruning the plant.
The Christmas Cherry aka (also known as) Jerusalem Cherry, can
cause nausea, vomiting, and heart problems. Philodendrons or Diffenbachia
(aka Dumb Cane) can cause different degrees of reaction to people or
animals. Do you have a pet?
Every summer we
hear about various water areas being posted as dangerous due to Blue Green
Algae. These produce toxins
that can cause liver failure and other allergy reactions. Some think the
“bloom” is brought by warm days after heavy fertilizer run off.
Boating seems to be okay but don’t fall in!!!
Many of us have
Yew (Taxus sp) hedges or trees, especially for shady areas, but watch out
as any part of the plant can kill if enough is eaten. It causes heart
failure. Remember a few years ago there was a mystery death on a bridge
until the autopsy discovered a stomach full of Yew berries.
But Yews are also used to make some of our anti-cancer drugs such
Poke Weed (Phytolacca
sp.) is a rather handsome weed that shows up suddenly in the yard. It
grows fast, up to 10 feet tall, and produces a handsome set of maroon
berries. These berries can be deadly but birds can eat them with no ill
effect. The people who make
their own dyes try to collect the plants for the red dye. The root is also
poisonous and hogs have been killed in
information about poisonous and/or toxic plants contact your local County
Extension Office or check out the following websites:
(Plants and Household Products Poisonous to Pets from UNL Extension
(Toxicity of Common Houseplants from UNL Extension in
(Potentially Poisonous Plants by
(List of 442 plants that have been reported as having systemic effect
and/or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract of dogs, cats, or
horses and 546 plants that are not toxic, from the American Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Plants can be searched by common or