Poisonous Garden Plants: Daffodils, Lantana And Euphorbia
Poisonous Plants - Take Care
Daffodil, Lantana And Euphorbia Look Innocent Enough But They Are All Poisonous Plants
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, which are listed at the foot of this page for your information, so that you can learn more about them and also identify them from the photographs.
Wear special gardening gloves
if you have sensitive skin
and don't lick your fingers
after touching the sap from plants
Who Would Have Thought That Daffodils Were Poisonous Plants?
Daffodils, narcissi and jonquils (which are all members of the daffodil family) are mildly toxic if the bulbs are eaten in large quantities - some people confuse them for onions.
All, but especially the bulbs.
Daffodils contain poisonous alkaloids called narcitine and narcicysteine.
Abdominal pains, cramps, vomiting, nausea, lightheadedness, shivering, diarrhoea.
Intravenous hydration and/or drugs to stave off nausea and vomiting if symptoms are severe or the patient is a child.
This Book About Poisonous Plants Is So Popular That A 3rd Edition Is Out On 4th July 2019
Remember, forewarned is fore-armed. And of course it is wise to have knowledge at your fingertips about what to do if someone has been harmed by a poisonous plant.
Poisonous Plant Lantana (Also Known as 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 children and pets eating them.
However, having said that, I did in fact eat the ripe berries as a child, with no ill effects whatsoever.
Green, unripened berries, leaves.
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.
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 delicious little black berries. I regularly used to pick and eat them straight from the bush, like you do with regular blackberries. The taste was aromatic, and sweet, a bit like blackberries or blueberries, but with a slightly more pungent smell and flavour, the texture similar, though 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
Euphorbia (Also Known As Spurge)
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.
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.
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.
The advice of a physician should be requested immediately..
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 goes into 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
What's Your Experience of Poisonous Plants?
Have you ever been poisoned by contact with a poisonous plant?
More Information About Poisonous Plants In This Popular YouTube Video
More Poisonous Plants:
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.