Poisonous Plants – Guide to Prevention an Treatment


Elephant Ears


Pothos Ivy


Lily of the Valley

Poison Ivy

Bull Nettle (Photo by Amy Ashcraft via Flickr)



Morning Glory





Ingestion of the following plants can cause pain and irritation to the lips, tongue, and mouth making it difficult to talk or swallow:

  • Caladium
  • Elephant Ear
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Pothos Ivy

The following plants contain chemicals that can affect the heart if ingested:

  • Oleander
  • Lily of the Valley

Some plants may have oils or prickly parts which cause mild to severe irritation of the skin:

  • Poison Ivy
  • Bull Nettle

Many berry-producing plants are used in yards or for decorating homes.  Birds can eat the berries, but people should not:

  • Holly
  • Mistletoe

There is a large diverse group of poisonous plants which can cause a variety of symptoms.  Call the Poison Center for information:

  • Morning Glory
  • Lantana

Food type plants may contain poisonous parts.  For example, potato and tomato leaves should not be ingested.  Mushrooms or their stems should only be eaten if purchased from the store.  Even cooking poisonous mushrooms may not destroy the toxin:

  • Mushrooms
  • Tomato Plant



  • Remove any remaining portion of the plant, berry or mushroom.
  • Save a piece of the plant or mushroom in a dry container for identification.
  • Have the person wash out the mouth with water.
  • Check for any irritation, swelling or discoloration.


  • Remove contaminated clothing.
  • Wash skin well with soap and water.


  • Wash hands with soap and water to avoid further irritation to the eye.
  • Rinse eye with lukewarm tap water for 10-15 minutes.


Pets and Plants

Dogs and cats frequently ingest plants. Most plants on the poisonous list will also be harmful to your pet. Some plants are not harmful to people, but are harmful to pets Call the Poison Center if you think your pet has eaten a poisonous plant.


  • Identify and label the plants in your area, yard, and home.
  • Wear gloves while gardening.
  • Keep plants, seeds, fruits and bulbs stored out of reach of children.  A leaf can block an infant’s airway.
  • Remember Christmas plants such as mistletoe and holly may be dangerous.
  • Teach children to keep plants out of their mouths and not to suck on flowers or make “tea” from leaves.
  • Do not eat wild plants, especially mushrooms.
  • Do not make homemade medicines, shampoos, potions or teas from plants.
  • Avoid smoke from burning plants.
  • Never chew on jewelry made from seeds, beans, or grasses from plants.
  • Recognize plants that may cause a rash, such as poison ivy, poison oak, or bull nettle.
  • Do not make toys or whistles from unknown flowers or trees.

Did you know the following plants are considered non harmful?

  • African Violet
  • Nandina
  • Jade
  • Monkey Grass
  • Poinsettia

If you have questions about plants not on the list below, call the toll free poison number.

Some Poisonous Plants

  • Amaryllis
  • Azalea
  • Bird of Paradise
  • Black Nightshade
  • Buttercup
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Calla Lily
  • Calamondin
  • Caladium
  • Carnation
  • Carolina Jasmine
  • Castor Bean
  • Chinaberry
  • Chinese Tallow
  • Christmas Berry
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Daisy
  • Daphne
  • Deadly Nightshade
  • Devils Ivy
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Dumbcane
  • Elderberry
  • Elephant Ears
  • English Holly/Ivy
  • Eucalyptus
  • Eyebane
  • Foxglove
  • Golden Chain
  • Holly Berry
  • Horsechestnut
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea Blossom
  • Iris
  • Jack-in-the-Pulpit
  • Jerusalem Cherry
  • Jimson Weed
  • Juniper
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur
  • Laurel
  • Lily-of-the-Valley
  • May Apple
  • Mistletoe
  • Moonflower
  • Morning Glory
  • Needlepoint Ivy
  • Oleander
  • Oxalis
  • Peace Lily
  • Philodendron
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Poison Sumac
  • Pokeweed
  • Potato Plant
  • Pothos
  • Pyracantha
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb
  • Sand Begonia
  • Skunk Cabbage
  • Spathe Flower
  • String of Pearls
  • Tomato Leaves
  • Tulips
  • Violet Seed
  • Water Hemlock
  • Wild Carrots
  • Wild Cucumber
  • Wild Parsnip
  • Wild Peas
  • Wisteria
  • Yew