I’m not a big fan of gardening and I’m very happy with my small low- maintenance garden. Sadly, I can’t seem to keep pot plants alive in the house or outside either, so I don’t often keep them. I love flowers however, but I avoid lilies because, despite their glorious aroma, I know the nectar could be poisonous to my two dogs.
It could be a good thing for me because, surprisingly, many household plants are also poisonous to humans in some way. I don’t mean deadly as in you touch them and drop dead – seriously toxic plants are uncommon in the UK. But there are many that present a health hazard. Especially if you make tea with the leaves…
Here’s a list so you know what to look out for. Not all of these plants are as deadly as others, but all of them are toxic in some way. You may have some in your garden or decorating your house. It’s surprising what’s out there.
Christmas is coming, so I’ll start with that. What do you use to add seasonal cheer? Poinsettia? Mistletoe? Holly?
– Poinsettia (skin and eye irritant).
– Mistletoe (the whole plant, especially the berries).
– Holly (berries).
– Hydrangea (buds).
– Hyacinth (yes, really! The bulbs can irritate the skin).
– Poets Narcissus (the whole plant, especially the bulbs).
– Foxgloves (especially flowers and seeds).
– Deadly Nightshade (especially the berries).
– Lily of the Valley (all parts are toxic).
– Larkspur (especially young plants and seeds).
– Water Hemlock (especially the root).
– Yew (all parts except the flesh of the berries).
– Datura (all parts are poisonous).
– Monkshood (a gardener died in Hampshire after apparently handling this – toxins can be absorbed through the skin).
– Giant Hogweed (grows near riverbanks and sometimes up to 5m tall).
– Bluebells (I know!)
– Amaryllis (bulbs).