Beautiful but poisonous

“All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dose permits something not to be poisonous.” ~Paracelsus

Encyclopaedia Britannica.

You will be surprised to know that many of your favourite garden or house plants are poisonous.  Some are more harmful than others, but there is no need to panic and to turf the whole lot out!  Not all plants are potentially lethal, but with small children no chance should be taken.  Children are curious by nature and explore their world with all their senses, including taste. As a result, the home or  garden can be a dangerous place.  Brightly coloured  berries or flowers usually attract small children’s attention and most cases of poisoning are in children under the age of five. Teach your grandchildren not to play with or to eat growing plants, and explain the dangers to them.  They will soon learn and impart this new found knowledge to their friends.

Flowers and plants that cause rashes  (Dermatitis)

  • AgapanthusChrysanthemum
  • Aster
  • Cactus
  • Clematis
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Ivy
  • Ficus
  • Oak
  • Primrose
  • Schefflera

 Flowers and plants that cause upset stomachs  (Vomiting, diarrhea, and gas)

  • Amaryllisminerva_amaryllis[1]
  • Box
  • Crocus
  • Cyclamen
  • Holly
  • Juniper
  • Morning Glory
  • Pointsettia
  • Schefflera


Flowers and plants that cause serious conditions including death

  • Amaryllis (Amaryllis belladonna)Gloriosa
  • Arum lily
  • Azalea (in large amounts)
  • Box
  • Bushman’s Poison Bush (Acokanthera oppositifolia)
  • Inkberry (Cestrum laevigatum)
  • Castor Oil plant (Ricinus communis)
  • Chinkerinchee (Ornithogalum spp)
  • Clivia
  • Cycads
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil
  • Delphinium
  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
  • Flame Lily (Gloriosa superba)
  • Foxglove
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Lantana
  • Larkspur
  • Oleander

Note this is a partial list of the most common plants and flowers.


Reference: Poisonous Plants of South Africa ~ Ben-Erik van Wyk, Fanie van Heerden, Bosch van Oudtshoorn

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