Many plants that we know very well, see often or may
even have them in our own backyard could have some
poisonous parts. As I was going through the list I was
quite surprised by some of these popular and every day
common plants. Just about everyone has a few azalea
bushes in their yards. They sure look beautiful but they
have poisonous parts like the leaves or even the honey
that can be made from its flower nectar.
common ficus plants. There are 800 species of ficus
....including a tree form, shrub and also a vining type.
Most of us have some variety of ficus in our homes, on our
patios or out in our yards and they can be poisonous. You
may have noticed that if a branch or leaf breaks it exudes
a milky sap and that is the toxic part. If you get some
sap on your skin, it can cause your skin to itch like
crazy and puff up.
Ficus Photo by Joani MacCubbin
We all probably have an oleander somewhere in our
yards or know someone who does. It's good to be aware that
every part of an oleander is poisonous. Even if you decide
to burn it....the smoke you may inhale can be a real bad
problem. Some people have even used oleander sticks for
cooking hot dogs or roasting marshmallows ......NOT a good
idea at all. And don't place oleander flowers near or in
water that may be used for drinking either by you or your
As you know very well Chrysanthemums are
often used as gift plants. There are between 100and 200
species of them. And yes...these very popular plants
during holidays but are also poisonous. Some people have
even used them to keep rabbits out of their yards. They
can cause us humans intense itching and skin puffing
Anthuriums can be a problem also. A very
popular plant here in Florida and the entire plant is
poisonous....but only if you eat them.....so don't.
Wisterias are another poisonous plant.....the entire plant
also. Some people say the flowers are not but why take the
Some of our commonly grown vegetables have
poisonous parts. It's hard to believe that a tomato plant
bearing gorgeous, delicious tomatoes that we all, at least
most of us, love to eat is poisonous. The same goes for
Pepper plants, egg plants and potatoes. The leaves, stems
and branches of all of these vegetables are poisonous.
So....enjoy the vegetables and leave the leaves alone.
A few other popular flowering plants that are
poisonous are the hydrangea, lily of the valley and
If you suspect problems from someone
eating any of these....don't just head to the drugstore
hoping to get lucky.....see your doctor.