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Poisonous Garden Plants: Daffodils, Lantana and Euphorbia

Updated on June 7, 2016
Gloriousconfusion profile image

I love gardening, garden design, learning gardening techniques and photographing plants. I was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Poisonous Plants - Take Care

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Daffodil, lantana and euphorbia look innocent enough, but they are all poisonous plants - Danger Lurks!

It's surprising how many common garden plants actually have poisonous parts. You won't necessarily die from being poisoned, but it's as well to know which plants are in this category, and what to do about it if you find strange things happening after contact with them.

This is one of a series of articles I've written about poisonous plants, and I have listed a few more at the foot of this page.

Danger! Wear Special Gardening Gloves If You Have Sensitive Skin

And don't lick your fingers

after touching the sap from plants

Daffodils - Poisonous Plants

poisonous plant daffodils
poisonous plant daffodils

Poisonous Plant: Daffodil

Daffodils narcissi and jonquils are mildly toxic if the bulbs are eaten in large quantities - some people confuse them for onions.

Poisonous Parts:

All, but especially the bulbs.

Daffodils contain poisonous alkaloids called narcitine and narcicysteine

Symptoms:

Abdominal pains, cramps, vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, shivering, diarrhoea

Treatment:

intravenous hydration and/or drugs to stave off nausea and vomiting if symptoms are severe or the patient is a child.

Below are two excellent books about poisonous plants

Remember, - forewarned is fore-armed. And of course it is wise to have knowledge at your fingertips about what to do in case someone has been harmed by a poisonous plant.

Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants
Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants

The more you know, the better you and your family are protected

 

Poisonous Plant Lantana

poisonous plant lantana
poisonous plant lantana | Source

Poisonous Plant: Lantana (Cherry Pie): According to my Research - Lantana is a toxic plant and the berries may be deadly poisonous

If the berries are ingested, lantana is highly toxic and possibly fatal. You might not be tempted, but watch out for kids and pets eating them.

Poisonous Parts:

Green, unripened berries, leaves

Symptoms:

vomiting, diarrhoea, dilated pupils, trouble breathing, and the leaves may be a skin irritant. As a skin irritant, lantana causes only mild and/or short term irritation.

However, when I lived in Africa as a child, I did eat the ripe berries, with no ill effects whatsoever.

My Own Experience of Lantana (Cherry Pie):

When I was a child, we lived in Africa.

We had a big garden, divided up by a long and tall cherry pie hedge. The flowers were mauve and yellow, followed by green berries which ripened into tasty little blackberries. I regularly used to pick and eat them straight from the bush, like you do with blackberries. The taste was aromatic, sweet, and very tasty, a bit like blackberries or blueberries, but with a slightly more pungent smell and flavour, the texture similar, the berries were a lot smaller - the smell is in my nostrils as I write this.

I'm not sure that my mother knew, but she certainly didn't stop me. Maybe a gentle admonition, but nothing very meaningful or forceful. Poisonous berries? I don't think so - or maybe I am invincible! I certainly never suffered any ill effects whatsoever. And yet, according to my recent research, I could be dead. Mind you, it was the black sweet berries I was eating, and not the green ones.

So it seems I am lucky to be alive and writing this article.

Poisonous plant euphorbia

Poisonous Plant: Euphorbia

There are more than one hundred species of Euphorbia, or spurge, In all of these species the juice or sap is so acrid that it may corrode and ulcerate the skin after any contact.

Poisonous Properties:

All species of Euphorbia or spurge contain a more or less poisonous, acrid milky juice. Contact with the skin causes extreme irritation, inflammation, ulceration, and in some cases gangrene.

If swallowed, it may be fatal.

The caper spurge (E. Lathyrus L.) contains an acrid, emetic, and highly purgative milky juice, and the fruits have commonly been employed by country folk as a purge.

Symptoms

If ingested (swallowed), spurges have an irritating effect on the mucous membrane, especially at the back of the mouth. In from three-quarters of an hour to two hours after eating the plant, or even longer, there is painful vomiting, followed by diarrhoea and low temperature. If the quantity ingested has been sufficient , there will also be nervous symptoms, vertigo, delirium, muscular tremors, circulatory troubles and abundant sweating. In addition there may be loss of appetite, colic, and tympanites, bloating, fever, palpitation of the heart, and loss of consciousness. In a fatal dose, the symptoms of superpurgation and enteritis predominate, but are accompanied by nervous symptoms and circulatory disorders.

Remedy

The advice of a physician should be requested.

The Poinsettia is Also a Member of the Euphorbia Family and Poisonous

Poinsettia has Poisonous White Sap

When I lived in Africa, we had a poinsettia tree in the garden. It was so beautiful. The red "flowers" are actually leaf bracts and not flowers at all, and may also be orange, cream, pink or pale green. The shrub grows to a height between 2ft and 16ft and bears large leaves. If grown outside, it does best in a sub-tropical climate where there is no frost, and it has very specific light and dark requirements before it will produce its brightly coloured bracts.

Poinsettia originates from South America, and The Aztecs extracted red dye from it and used it as a herbal medicine similar to aspirin and ibruprofen, to reduce fever.

Unlike other members of the spurge family, which may be highly toxic, Poinsettia is only mildly toxic - it may be a skin or stomach irritant, sometimes causing diarrhoea and vomiting if eaten, or a skin allergy to anyone sensitive to latex. If sap enters goes in the eye, it may cause temporary blindness.

Keep an Eye on Your Children and Pets in the Garden

Make sure they never eat or play with

daffodils, lantana or euphorbia

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What's Your Experience of Poisonous Plants?

Have you ever been poisoned by contact with a poisonous plant?

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    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      I am with you and thanks for bringing awareness to these dangerous plants. I blame oleabder for giving me sinus as a three year old and have been very aware of plants that exude white latex stuff from their links. But I love figs and they also have this. 5* and fave

      Norma

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I remember as a child playing with other children in yards where plants with red berried grew. Usually one of the children would say the berries were poison, but we all ate them with no ill effects. i have no idea what they were, since I did not know as much about plants then as I do now. Part of the problem though, is that after a few such experiences, children may just disregard warnings about poisonous plants altogether as a kind of "crying wolf."

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 6 years ago

      Good information. But poinsettia, though not edible, is not poisonous. It's a persistent myth, but all the reliable sources do indicate it's a myth.

    • akumar46 lm profile image

      akumar46 lm 6 years ago

      Good advice and very nice lens on poisonous plants.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 6 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      I always wondered why the deer avoid Daffodils and never clued in that they may be poisonous. Thanks for your info on these poisonous garden plants.

    • hotbrain profile image

      hotbrain 6 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      Nice lens, I'm glad you didn't get sick from those berries you ate!

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      Great lens to share. I have holly berries in my garden and eating 20 of these berries can prove lethal. Lenrolled to Summer Flowers in my Garden and Spring Flowers in my Garden.

    • linhah lm profile image

      Linda Hahn 6 years ago from California

      No more flower kissing for me.

    • Rockett LM profile image

      Rockett LM 6 years ago

      Great information. I had NO idea that daffodils are poisonous. Nice lens!

    • AbhinavB LM profile image

      AbhinavB LM 6 years ago

      An eyeopener article for me... every thing that glitters is not gold!!!

    • Kandy O profile image

      Kandy O 6 years ago

      Very informative lens!

    • profile image

      AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Well I misseed the one in the quiz about making them sick. When my kids were little we kept a bottle of Ipecac on hand in case of accidental poisoning. It would make one vomit about 20 minutes after taking. It was the thing doctors and the poison center recommended if your child ate leaves or berries of suspicious origin.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image
      Author

      Diana Grant 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      @AlleyCatLane: thanks for that information - I'm afraid I never had anything like that when my children were young

    • LaptopLeader profile image

      LaptopLeader 4 years ago

      Thanks for the information. :) There seem to be a lot of poisonous plants and flowers that we aren't really aware of.

    • Expat Mamasita profile image

      Expat Mamasita 3 years ago from Slovakia

      Thank you for the info. I never bought poinsettia plants at Xmas when we had a cat as I was told it was poisonous to them if they ate the leaves.

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image
      Author

      Diana Grant 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Expat Mamasita: Oh dear, I have a cat, but fortunately she hasn't eaten the leaves

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 2 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Great information. I always forget daffodil bulbs are poisonous - maybe some of the creatures that eat mine every year suffer the consequences! I still love poinsettia plants for the holiday season - my cats never ate them, at least as far as I know.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 24 months ago from Germany

      Oh my! I didn't know lantana is poisonous . I have this flower in my garden. Thanks for the info

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image
      Author

      Diana Grant 24 months ago from United Kingdom

      It's may be poisonous but from what I understand, it's not lethal, so you'll be fine

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