Is Your Flower Garden Dangerous?
It seems that most folks are unaware of the dangers that exist in the common flower garden. I did a post on growing Foxgloves and while it seems to be well known as being toxic if eaten many people are unaware that many of their other favorite garden flowers are equally as toxic.
A couple years back the news media did a sensationalized report on people complaining that big box stores did not have warning labels on the Foxglove plants and since then it has been massively demonized.
My case in point….. I can do all sorts of posts on growing Delphiniums, Morning Glories, Sweet Peas or Black Eyed Susans and not one person will jump in and comment on how poisonous they are then I write a post on Foxgloves and all sorts of well intentioned folks will be quick to comment on the toxicity.
That alone tells me that people are just not educating themselves on what they are bringing home and planting in their gardens or even keeping indoors as houseplants that could be potentially dangerous.
That being said, I will want to include that I have raised 4 kids and numerous pets with not one case of poisoning by plant. I grew every single one of these plants in my garden along with a few more that are toxic during that time. No one seemed to want to run out to the flower garden and make themselves a salad out of them because most of these plants taste horrible. (it is also why many are deer resistant)
To give it perspective kids are 300 times more likely to be poisoned by common household items like laundry detergent, cosmetics and cleaning supplies than plants in or outside of the home!
300 times! That is no small statistic.
So I want this to be a balanced approach and the message here is:
“Caution and education are always good in making informed choices but lets not blow things out of proportion.”
I am going to list 10 of the poisonous garden favorites that I actually grow now but the list of common plants that are poisonous is extensive. When you research it I would recommend using verifiable sources and not Joe Blows website or a sensational post on how someone has an allergic reaction to a plant. This list includes flowers that all or part are toxic to humans and animals if EATEN.
Most of them you would have to eat quite a bit to be lethal but even a little can make you sick. (be especially careful with puppies who will chew on things most adult dogs would turn their nose up at)
1. Foxgloves…I guess that is a given and I don’t really need to list it but I will anyways..
2. Black Eyed Susans or Rudbeckia
4. Morning Glory
With morning glory it is mostly the seeds that are poisonous.
5. Sweet Pea
The bulb is what is most posoinous that is why gophers and voles avoid eating them.
From what I have read and seen listed under poisonous and/or toxic plants there are more reports of poisoning from children eating the seeds of the wisteria plant than other plants. And though no deaths have been reported it is good to keep in mind that if you do have wisteria you might want to cut it back before it goes to seed.
Other class 1 toxic plants common in everyday gardens:
Tomato (the leaves and stems)
Angels Trumpet (Datura)
Yew (both Japanese and English)
Potato Plants (green parts)
And though this may seem foolish to say I must as a disclaimer “DO NOT EAT ANY PART OF THE ABOVE LISTED PLANTS” !
This all may sound rather scary but in reality we are surrounded with dangers everyday and making good informed choices is always before us. Thankfully we can find reputable information online if we do careful research and not be bamboozled by sensationalized stories and accounts.
I wish you SAFE and Happy Gardening.
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