Life Hacks
Here Are 15 Deadly Plants You Might Have At Home
Make sure to keep kids and pets away from these beautiful - but poisonous - plants and flowers.
Ashley Brewer
04.11.18

You might not know it, but some of the plants or flowers in your garden could actually be quite dangerous. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them, just make sure that your children and fur babies stay away from them.

These 15 plants are gorgeous – but they might be deadly. Check your garden and be aware.

Some of these might be fairly surprising.

1. Castor oil plant

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Pixabay

According to Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the seeds of the castor oil plant contain one of the most poisonous naturally-occurring substances on the planet – ricin. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe hydration. Ingestion of just one seed can be fatal to a child.

2. Foxglove

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Pixabay

“Foxglove grows throughout the United States. It grows in the wild and is often cultivated for its beauty in private gardens. All parts of the plant are poisonous, possibly even deadly, if swallowed,” says the official website for Poison Control. Keep those kitties away from this beautiful plant.

3. Lilies

Wikipedia
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Wikipedia

Whether they’re Easter lilies, tiger lilies, or daylilies, eating just a small amount of this common flower can be extremely dangerous. According to SF Gate, “people who eat any part of this lily may experience an irregular heart rate, confusion, digestive upset, diarrhea or vomiting.”

4. Daffodil

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Pixabay

All parts of this flower are toxic, however, the bulb seems to be the most irritating. Ingesting it can cause vomiting, tremors, and heart palpitations. Although, Poison Control says that symptoms are usually not life-threatening and resolve after a few hours.

5. Oleander

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Pixabay

Oleander is a beautiful bush with bright reddish-pink flowers when in bloom, it’s absolutely stunning – but also poisonous. “Oleander plants contain several toxic elements, including cardiac glycosides, saponins, digitoxigenin, oleandrin, oleondroside, nerioside and other unknown toxins,” SF Gate says. “Ingestion of any part of the oleander plant can lead to serious illness and possibly death.”

6. Water Hemlock

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Flickr

The United States Department of Agriculture says that this wild-growing plant is the most violently toxic in all of North America. Just a small amount of this plant will lead to violent convulsions, grand mal seizures, and death.

7. English Yew

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Pixabay

The English yew is an evergreen plant that is very poisonous except for their berries. The berries are edible and sweet, but the seeds inside are extremely toxic. Unlike birds, human stomachs break down the seed coat and release taxanes into the body which can be fatal.

8. Lily of the Valley

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Pixabay

“Blurry vision, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea, disorientation, drowsiness, headaches, red skin rashes, excessive salivation, sudden alterations in your cardiac rhythm and possible death,” are the symptoms and effects that Lily of the Valley can have according to Mental Floss. It’s no wonder Walter White used it for sinister uses in Breaking Bad.

9. Rhubarb

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Pxhere

Of course, many people eat rhubarb every day, but not all parts of this plant are edible. The stems are delicious in pies and other dishes, just make sure not to eat the leaves. “Oxalic acid is the compound present in rhubarb leaves that can cause poisoning to occur,” Livestrong says. This can cause terrible symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, eye pain, seizures, coma or death.

10. Wisteria

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Flickr

“The seeds are produced in pods similar to those of Laburnum (golden chain), and, like the seeds of that genus, are poisonous. All parts of the plant contain a saponin called wisterin, which is toxic if ingested, and may cause dizziness, confusion, speech problems, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, and collapse,” according to Wikipedia.

11. Dieffenbachia

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Flickr

This beautiful plant is very common in households – both indoor and out. However, it is also extremely poisonous so it might not be the best option for those with kids or pets. Commonly known as dumbcane, this plant can cause a temporary inability to speak, blisters on the tongue, burning in the mouth and difficulty swallowing. The effects can be much worse, even fatal, in children.

12. Hydrangea

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Pixabay

Here’s another very common flowering plant that you might not know had a bit of a darker side. “Several parts of the plant — the buds, flower, and leaves — contain a compound known as glycoside amygdalin. It’s the amygdalin that has the potential to make hydrangea poisonous, because it can break down (in several different ways) to produce cyanide,” says the DIY Network.

13. Rhododendron and azalea

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Pixabay

The official website for Poison Control says that ingesting small amounts of azalea or rhododendron won’t cause serious poisoning. However, ingesting larger quantities of the plant, or its honey, can quickly escalate to life-threatening symptoms.

14. Philodendron

Good Housekeeping via Getty Images
Source:
Good Housekeeping via Getty Images

Severe reactions to this common, trendy houseplant are rare, but the sap can be irritating if consumed. It can cause swelling of the throat, difficulty breathing, a burning pain in the throat, and upset stomach. It’s best to keep this plant out of reach from pets and kids.

15. Mistletoe

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Mistletoe is probably found around your house during Christmas months, but it is also a common wild-growing plant that is found all around North America and Europe. It used to be rumored that it would be fatal if consumed, however, Poison Control says it “can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal upset but is not likely to cause serious poisoning if small amounts are unintentionally swallowed.”

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By Ashley Brewer
hi@sbly.com
Ashley Brewer is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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