Plant

45 Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

If you do a search for toxic or poisonous flowers, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the results. This is because there are a lot of plants out there that have some levels of toxicity, especially when it comes to affecting pets. No, not all the plants in here are going to kill humans, and this isn’t the be-all-end-all guide to poisonous flowers. But it’s a good start to know which ones you should avoid. Check out the rating system below to help you know at a quick glance what kind of harm each one could cause.

LEVEL 1: A level 1 indicates a plant that is a nuisance but not necessarily deadly – unless consumed in large quantities. It will likely cause the most harm to pets, but keep an eye out for kids who like to explore with their hands and mouths.

LEVEL 2: A level 2 indicates a plant that could be harmful (to both pets or humans) in large quantities. You’ll want to keep a close watch if you decide to grow any of these in your backyard.

LEVEL 3: A level 3 indicates a plant you want to stay away from. It likely has been linked to death (both humans and animals). Don’t plant it in your backyard. It’s not worth the risk.

01. Daffodil

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts, including the bulb, contain a substance called lycorine.

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Daffodils are some of the brightest and most cheerful flowers in the spring. They have great trumpet shapes, too. Every year, gardeners look forward to their blooming season because it’s a sign that warmers days are ahead. Many gardeners like to plant daffodils in large groupings so dozens or even hundreds of flowers create a sea of sunshine. Most people don’t realize that this plant has any poisonous qualities at all, but they exist in all stages of the plant.

Be Aware:

If you, a child, or a pet eat any part of this plant, it can cause an upset stomach or vomiting. This usually passes after a few hours, but in a few instances, it can lead to more serious problems like damage of the liver.

Garden History:

The botanical name of this plant has a great story. It was named after a very good-looking young man who admired himself excessively, so the gods turned him into a flower.

The Bottom Line:

Plant it! Even though it can cause some mild irritations, this is still a good bulb to have in your gar- den. It’s also one of the few plants deer won’t eat, which is a bonus!

02. Crocus

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts of this plant

Pretty flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Crocus are mighty plants quite popular with gardeners. These tiny blossoms, which are only a few inches tall, show up very early in spring. Many gardeners will just scatter these in throughout their lawn because they like random spots of color. Others will put them in containers, and then once they’re done blooming, they fill the container with summer annuals. While this spring crocus can be somewhat poisonous, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for the fall variety called Colchicum autumnale.

Be Aware:

The spring crocus can cause an upset stomach, especially in pets. The autumn crocus is much more toxic and can result in kidney and liver damage and even death.

The Bottom Line:

The spring crocus pictured here (the most common and blooms in spring) is probably okay to plant in your yard. However, it’s best to avoid the autumn crocus.

03. Hyacinth

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts are somewhat poisonous, but it’s much more concentrated in the bulbs.

Beautiful flower

Poisonous Profile:

The next time you have a chance to look at a hyacinth, really take a close look at it. They have some of the most unique blooms when it comes to bulbs because they are made up of dozens and dozens of tiny, star-shaped blossoms. When you look at a photo, you might think that hyacinths are a lot bigger than they are, but they are actually just a few inches tall. Try growing them in the front of a garden bed so other plants emerging in spring don’t overshadow them.

Be Aware:

Pets are most at risk here, especially dogs. Poison occurs when dogs find a bag of the bulbs or they dig up freshly-planted bulbs from the garden. If they eat them, you might see signs of vomiting, drooling, etc. In extreme cases, it can affect their hearts.

Did You Know?

Another very popular type of hyacinth gardeners grow is called grape hyacinth. Many people think it’s the same as the common hyacinth, but it’s not. It even has a different botanical name, Muscari armeniacum. It’s not toxic, though, so plant as much as you want without worry!

The Bottom Line:

Plant away! Yes, you’ll want to pay attention when you have bags of these out and are getting ready to plant in the fall. But once they’re in the ground and the bulbs are put away, you shouldn’t have to worry much.

04. Star of Bethlehem

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts can be poisonous, and even fresh-cut flowers can poison the water, making it toxic to pets, as well.

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

You can put a few of these in the garden, and they’ll quickly spread in just a few short years though they aren’t really considered weedy by most gardeners. You’ll also like this because its dozens of tiny little star-shaped white flowers can really light up your garden bed. However, in many areas, it is considered highly invasive and difficult to remove from the landscape.

Be Aware:

This plant has cardiac glycoside toxins, which affect the heart. For your cats and dogs, this can lead to vomiting, seizures, heart problems, and even death.

The Bottom Line:

Plant it unless you have pets that like to graze on your garden. If so, then you probably want to skip it.

05. Trillium

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Roots and berries

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Since trillium is often seen in nature as a wildflower, most people don’t even realize it’s a bulb or that you can plant it in your backyard garden. If you go for a hike in the woods in mid- to late spring, then chances are you might see spots of trillium popping up all over. It’s one of the few flowers that really thrives in the shade. You can find a few different trillium options to grow, including one of the most common with the botanical name Trillium grandiflorum or the red trillium called Trillium erectum.

Be Aware:

If eaten, the berries and roots of this plant can come with unpleasant side effects, like inflamed nasal areas and sneezing.

The Bottom Line:

This is worth planting in the garden. You should look for it at native plant sales.

06. Tulip

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Most concentrated in the bulbs

beautiful spring flowers

Poisonous Profile:

One of the true signs of spring is when you see tulips pop up all across landscapes and gardens. If you want this to be the case in your yard, you’ll have to plant them in fall because they need to spend the cold winter in the ground before they can bloom in spring. Dig a hole three to four times deeper than the bulb itself and drop it in, pointy side up. Make sure the base has good contact with the soil. You’ll want to do this before the ground is frozen or too hard to dig. You can get tulips in any color you want (except blue), so happy shopping.

Be Aware:

The toxicity of this plant is very similar to the hyacinth because they are in the same family. The bulbs are most toxic and can cause your pets to drool, vomit, or even experience heart and respiratory problems in extreme cases.

Green Thumb Tip:

Many of the new tulip cultivars are gorgeous, but they don’t last as long as the other varieties— some even just consider them annuals. Keep this in mind when planting. If you want a true perennial, talk to your garden center and ask them to recommend cultivars that will last for several years.

The Bottom Line:

Grow this, but keep the bulbs out of sight of animals!

07. Snowdrop

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts The entire plant is actually poisonous, but the bulb contains the most toxins. The bulbs can look a lot like onions, so don’t make that mistake.

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Occasionally blooming in January or February, this is truly one of the earliest blooming flowers you can have in the garden. Some people also call Star of Bethlehem by the name Snowdrop, but these are two different plants (check the botanical name to be sure). An old myth says that if you get only a single snowdrop in your yard then it’s a bad omen. It’s your choice whether to believe this, but to avoid it, plant several snowdrops.

Be Aware:

If the bulbs are consumed, symptoms might include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

The Bottom Line:

This one is probably fine to plant. Since it’s one of the first flowers to come up in late winter or early spring, it’s a welcome sight in the garden.

08. Amaryllis

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Leaves, stem, and bulb

beautiful spring flowers

Poisonous Profile:

You probably recognize this flower because it’s common to see during the holiday season. Stores will stock a version of this amaryllis along with pots to grow indoors as a houseplant, blooming right around Christmas. While this is definitely one way to grow this flower, it’s not the only option. Those in warm areas can grow this flower outside year-round. Or you can grow it in the summer and dig up the bulb once the season is over.

Be Aware:

While it’s not as toxic as some other bulbs, it can still cause vomiting or a drop in blood pressure if consumed.

The Bottom Line:

Go for it. It’s a great garden bulb!

09. Iris

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Most concentrated in the bulb

Beautiful flower

Poisonous Profile:

So many different types of iris exist, including the one pictured here called Japanese iris (Iris ensata). Nearly all irises have poisonous qualities, so you’ll want to be careful if you have pets that like to dig up bulbs or eat plants. However, they are pretty low on the toxicity level, so if you like these beautiful blooms, look for native species from your local garden center or at a native plant sale to find good options for your backyard.

Be Aware:

The bulb of this plant can cause skin irritation, so you might want to plant with gloves. If an animal gets hold of the bulb, it might cause drooling, vomiting, or other irritation.

Garden History:

The plant was named after the Greek goddess of the rainbow.

The Bottom Line:

Plant it, but wear gloves while handling the bulbs. Iris are beautiful and will last for years, so they are a great addition to the garden.

10. Oleander

Level of Toxicity 3/3
Toxic Parts All parts of the plant can do you harm.

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Oleander is one of the most deceiving plants out there. Home gardeners have been growing it for years – they love this small shrub for its beautiful blooms. Plus, it’s relatively easy and fast to grow. But consider this your word of warning because oleander is one of the most deadly and toxic plants around. Consuming any part of this shrub – the leaves, bark, flowers, sap – can result in some pretty serious consequences or even death. Some areas of the country even consider it invasive, so this is one that you definitely plant at your own risk.

Be Aware:

Some of the toxic elements in oleander include cardiac glycosides, saponins, digitoxigenin, oleandrin, oleondroside, and nerioside. These can cause vomiting, dizziness, vision problems, and other issues like death. Stay away!

The Bottom Line:

Don’t plant it. It’s not worth the risk to you or others with the whole “could cause death” and being invasive thing.

11. Azalea

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts can cause problems.

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

You can find dozens upon dozens of azaleas to choose from both online and at your local garden center. They are some of the most popular shrubs for backyard gardens, especially in warmer climates. Not everyone realizes it, but azaleas are also known as rhododendrons, which relates to their botanical name. These plants produce beautiful spring flowers that come in a wide range of colors and shapes. Gardeners love azaleas because they reach their mature size in just a few short years, and then they are reliable bloomers for many more years in the future.

Be Aware:

Don’t let kids or pets eat the flowers, leaves, fruits, or seeds of this plant. Sometimes the flowers can be mistaken for honeysuckle, but they’re not! Mild symptoms might include mouth irritation, nausea, and vomiting. However, large consumptions can be quite serious!

Green Thumb Tip:

This shrub definitely enjoys some shade, so keep this in mind before you dig.

The Bottom Line:

If you have curious kids or pets, it’s probably best to avoid this one. Because it’s so beautiful, it seems to make it that much more appealing. However, if you don’t have kids or pets to worry about, pick your favorite cultivar. You’ll find so many great options to choose from!

12. Daphne

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts contain an acid that is irritable, which is especially found in the sap and berries.

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

This is one of the earliest blooming shrubs you can have in the garden, sometimes flowering as early as February. It’s considered native to forests, and it does really well in moist, wooded areas where there’s lots of shade. Once this shrub flowers, you’ll see small fruits reach maturity in early summer. While these berries are good for birds, you definitely don’t want any little hands getting hold of them.

Be Aware:

When pets consume daphne, it can lead to drooling, vomiting, mouth and stomach problems, coma, or even death.

Garden History:

The name Daphne came from a Greek myth that says Daphne went to Aphrodite, wanting to be saved from another god, so she was turned into a tree.

The Bottom Line:

If you have kids around, you probably want to avoid this one. With the sap and berries being highly toxic when consumed, it’s not worth the risk.

13. Hydrangea

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts of the plant can have elements that break down to produce cyanide.

Pretty flower

Poisonous Profile:

The world of hydrangeas is huge! You can choose from hundreds, and the botanical names can get a bit confusing. One of the most popular is the bigleaf hydrangea, which has two main groups: those with globe-shaped flowers (mopheads) and flattened flower heads (lacecaps). Both are beautiful, and once you get them established, they grow for years! Don’t lose patience if you don’t get yours going right away. Sometimes you just need to find the right location in your garden.

Be Aware:

You (or a pet) would have to consume a large amount of hydrangea plants to notice any issues. These might include a very upset stomach and bowel issues.

Green Thumb Tip:

In cold climates, the wind and frigid temperatures may take a toll on hydrangeas. To protect your investment, cover plants in winter with burlap or shredded leaves.

The Bottom Line:

Because you’d have to consume such a large amount to be in any kind of danger, you’re probably fine planting hydrangeas in your garden.

14. Witch Hazel

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Bark and leaves

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

You don’t come across many shrubs that bloom in the fall, but this is one of them. This plant has bright and beautiful yellow blooms that look like little ribbons along the branches. Many people know the witch hazel name because they see it in health food stores. It’s often used on skin for inflammation or even acne as a natural remedy. While the toxicity of this plant is fairly low, it’s still one you want to watch out for if you have pets.

Be Aware:

While it has a lot of benefits, especially applied topically, it can be toxic to dogs if they eat the plant out of your garden or if they get hold of it in pill form.

The Bottom Line:

Plant witch hazel! You’ll love the yellow flowers that pop up in September and October.

15. False Heather

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers in the World

Poisonous Profile:

This shrub produces beautiful purple blooms in spring and throughout the summer. However, since it only thrives in zones 9 to 11, most people who want to grow this shrub will have to think of it as an annual. Gardeners definitely love it for its flowers. It’s also pretty low maintenance and fairly drought tolerant. So if you need a “plant it and forget it” option for your backyard, this is it!

Be Aware:

You probably won’t come across false heather much unless you live in a warm climate, but all parts of this plant can cause overall sickness or nausea in pets.

The Bottom Line:

You might have a hard time finding this one in your area, but if you do, you should feel free to plant it without much worry.

16. Bougainvillea

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Any parts of the plant with sap

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Definitely known and grown for its beautiful flowers, bougainvillea can get quite large if you just let it go. Instead, try to keep this plant contained by keeping it pruned. It does really well with pruning and trimming, which is great if you have a very specific or small space where you’re trying to grow it. Since it only thrives in zones 9 to 11, you might have to grow it as an annual in other areas.

Be Aware:

Most experts consider bougainvillea to be only mildly toxic. The plant’s sap is a bit irritable to the skin, and if eaten in large quantities by your pet, it can definitely cause problems. Watch out for the thorns, which can also contain the plant’s sap.

The Bottom Line:

The blooms are gorgeous! Go for it.

17. Candytuft

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

If you need a plant that is drought tolerant, candytuft is a great option. It doesn’t grow very tall, but it has beautiful white flowers that butterflies and other pollinators really like. Is this plant a perennial or a shrub? It’s a little bit of both. Depending on where you live and the variety you grow, it could be considered either!

Be Aware:

With mild toxic elements, you want to keep it away from all animals and any human consumption. It could definitely cause some queasiness and vomiting.

The Bottom Line:

Go ahead and plant it! It’s a great option for pollinators, and it’s relatively risk-free.

18. Cape Plumbago

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

If you saw plumbago growing in its native habitat of South Africa, it would be a lot bigger. However, in the United States, most people grow it in a container, so it stays small and manageable. In fact, keeping it in a container is quite popular because this way you can grow it outside in summer and bring it indoors as a houseplant in winter.

Be Aware:

All parts of this plant are considered toxic, so keep it away from pets. Also, be aware if you handle it directly while planting because it could cause some skin irritation.

The Bottom Line:

Grow this for the beautiful blueish flowers, which are fairly unique in the gardening world.

19. Carolina Allspice

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts, especially seeds

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

This shrub is a beauty in the backyard, producing deep red or burgundy flowers. Gardeners love it for its long blooming seasons (spring to midsummer) and because it’s so easy to grow. It’ll tolerate a lot of different soil conditions, and it’ll also do well in both sun and shade. Many varieties will also produce wonderful, sweet-smelling flowers, so inquire at your local garden center if this is important to you!

Be Aware:

The seeds can be especially toxic, so stay away. This is most often a problem when it comes to pets or animals like goats that will graze or potentially eat a lot of the seeds. You might see convulsions or elevated blood pressure.

The Bottom Line:

You should be able to grow it just fine, but keep the toxicity in mind, especially when the plants might be dropping seeds (usually fall or late into your growing season).

20. Tansy Mustard

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts, especially when the plant is small

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

This flower/weed is common throughout the United States. You’ll often see it growing along the side of the road or in meadows, but it’s easy to miss since it only grows a few feet high. This plant with bright yellow blooms is related to the mustard family. You can recognize it because it blooms in early spring, and its leaves look a lot like ferns starting to grow.

Be Aware:

Animals will experience symptoms of a paralyzed tongue, and if they eat enough of it, they could become blind.

The Bottom Line:

Stay away from this one if you see it in the wild. Don’t be drawn in by its cute, button-shaped, and curious-looking yellow blooms.

21. Nightshade

Level of Toxicity 3/3
Toxic Parts All parts, which can cause irritation to the skin as well

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Many plants go by the name of nightshade, and you pretty much want to stay away from them all. The one pictured here is a vine with the most beautiful deep-purple flowers, but don’t let them fool you. You don’t want any part of it. Also keep an eye out for similar plants with this bloom shape or in this family. While some are more toxic than others, you pretty much want to avoid them.

Be Aware:

This is one of the more deadly plants you can find in the garden, and this one can especially be a problem because it grows fast and spreads quickly. If consumed, it can cause vomiting, upset stomach, and even death in serious cases and large quantities.

The Bottom Line:

Find a different vine if you’re looking for something to grow up that trellis.

22. Wisteria

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts, especially the seeds and seed pods

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Wisteria is one of the coveted plants that once you see it growing, you really want to have it your- self. It might take a couple years to get wisteria established, but once you do, it’s so beautiful. It produces gorgeous spring blooms, year after year. This vine can get pretty huge, so keep this in mind if you plant it. You’ll want to either grow it on a support system or have it in a place where you can add support once it’s established.

Be Aware:

If your pet eats parts of this plant, you might notice signs of vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach. It can even cause pet depression!

The Bottom Line:

This one is probably fine to grow in your garden. It often grows as a vine, so your pets might not even be able to reach it.

23. Clematis

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Clematis is one of the most popular vines in the garden. There are many different types of clematis out there, and the beautiful flowers that this plant is known for come in many different shades. Clematis starts off small in the spring, but it doesn’t take long for it to grow up a trellis or pergola. As a bonus, many gardeners are able to grow it in partial shade, making it a truly versatile bloom.

Be Aware:

Clematis can cause mouth pain to animals who eat it. Other side effects include vomiting, salivating, and diarrhea.

The Bottom Line:

It’s probably fine for most backyards and gardens, but keep it away from pets.

24. Bryonia

Level of Toxicity 3/3
Toxic Parts All parts, especially the berries

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Bryonia definitely falls into the weed category. While it’s not native to the United States, a type of bryonia (white bryony) can be found in western parts of the United States like Washington, Montana, and Idaho. It’s never a good idea to eat unknown berries in the wild, but you should definitely keep a watch out for this vining plant.

Be Aware:

If you consume any parts of this plant or the berries, you may experience nausea or vomiting. As little as 30 to 40 berries could cause death in humans or animals.

The Bottom Line:

Skip it!

25. Trumpet Vine

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Leaves, flowers

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Trumpet vine is one of the biggest, most striking, awesome hummingbird plants that you can grow. Once you get it established, it loyally comes back every year, growing 20, 30, and even 40 feet, attracting hummingbirds the entire season. The trumpet-shaped flowers are gorgeous and bright.

They will also attract butterflies and bees. You definitely need a strong support system to grow this vine – an old stump, a sturdy pergola, even a telephone pole. It’s truly one of the most eye-catching plants in the garden.

Be Aware:

If you touch this plant, it could cause some minor skin irritation like redness. If consumed, mild effects include vomiting and nausea.

The Bottom Line:

The toxic elements are pretty low, so this is one that you should feel okay about planting.

26. Monkshood

Level of Toxicity 3/3
Toxic Parts All parts, but especially the roots and leaves

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

This plant also goes by the common name of wolfsbane because parts of this plant were once used to poison wolves – both as a bait and also as a poison in the arrow. It has a long history of growing in the wild and being used for poisonous purposes, so you definitely don’t want to consume it. However, it’s still popular among gardeners, especially for its bluish blooms. They make a statement in the backyard!

Be Aware:

If consumed, you’ll see nausea and vomiting, along with burning, tingling, and numbness. You or your pet might also see difficulty breathing, dizziness, and serious heart problems, which can lead to death.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t plant it. It’s been known to kill humans, too, and it’s certainly not worth the risk.

27. Milkweed

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts of the plant because of the milky sap that runs through it

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Milkweed is a good poisonous plant. Yes, really! Here’s the thing – milkweed is the host plant for monarchs. What does this mean and why should you care? It means that monarch caterpillars need this plant in order to survive, and this is important since the monarch population has been plummeting! As gardeners, we can help by planting milkweed in our gardens. So even though the milky sap that runs through this plant’s leaves can make you (and your pets) quite ill if you consume it, it’s still a good perennial to have in your backyard.

Be Aware:

If you or pets eat it, you might experience vomiting and nausea. If you cut a stem or leaf, this plant will give off a milky substance. Don’t worry – it’s not toxic to touch, but be sure to wash your hands after you handle it. And don’t chomp on it.

Did You Know?

Why don’t monarch caterpillars die from consuming milkweed leaves? They are pretty much immune to it, which makes for a great defense mechanism. Over the years, animals have learned to not eat monarchs and their caterpillars. Isn’t nature both fascinating and cool?

The Bottom Line:

Despite it being a bit irritable, you should still grow milkweed. The benefits to the monarch population far outweigh the risks.

28. Lantana

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Lantana is native to the Caribbean. Most gardeners grow it as an annual, but you might find it year-round in warm areas of California or Florida. This is a bloom that is like fine wine: it gets better with time. The small clusters of flowers usually start out as a soft, single color. Then, as the plant ages, they change color and deepen. Grow it in a sunny spot, and you’ll love watching it thrive as some of your other blooms fade in the heat of the summer.

Be Aware:

If animals eat this plant, they might experience vomiting, diarrhea, depression, and even liver failure.

The Bottom Line:

It’s probably fine if you can keep an eye on pets.

29. Bleeding Heart

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Beautiful flower

Poisonous Profile:

Bleeding heart might be one of the cutest, most adorable flowers you can grow in the garden. In the spring, this plant produces tiny little flowers that are shaped like hearts. They’re truly one of the most unique blooms you can find in the plant world. Many gardeners like this one because it’s an early bloomer and it’s fairly easy to grow in shade.

Be Aware:

It contains alkaloids, which can be toxic to both pets and people. All parts of the plant can cause skin irritation, so you might want to handle with gloves when planting or transplanting.

The Bottom Line:

It’s almost too cute not to grow. Plus, if you have shade, it’s a great option. It’s probably fine to grow, but keep an eye on kids who might be curious about the blooms (and may put them in their mouths).

30. Snakeroot

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts contain a toxin called tremetol, a type of poisonous and unsaturated alcohol.

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

This plant could also fit in the wildflowers chapter, and it’s also considered a weed by many gardeners, but it’s still one you might come across in backyards. It’s easy to grow, does well in shade, and easily comes back year after year. Don’t be tempted by this easy-to-grow plant, though. It’s not actually all that great.

Be Aware:

This plant is a big concern for farmers, if and when cows eat it. It can enter their system, contaminating both the meat and the milk, which can then cause poisoning in humans (also called milk sickness).

The Bottom Line:

It’s pretty weedy overall, and not really a perennial you want in your garden year after year.

31. Larkspur

 

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts, especially the seeds

Poisonous Profile:

Many gardeners grow this as an annual, planting new seeds each year. However, it easily reseeds on its own, so it might not be necessary. Larkspur (pictured here) looks very similar to delphinium and was once included in the same genus, but it’s separate now. The flowers put on quite a show from early spring to the middle of summer. Gardeners love it for the blue blooms, but you can now find it available in many other shades.

Be Aware:

This plant is mostly a problem in prairies and open areas where animals graze. If they eat a lot of it, it’ll cause weakness, nausea, muscle twitching, and even death.

The Bottom Line:

It’s probably fine in backyards, but keep an eye out for it in pastures and other wild areas.

32. Foxglove

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts

strange plants

Poisonous Profile:

This is a very popular garden plant with its tall and cascading bell-shaped flowers. It has some fun nicknames, including fairy bells and dead man’s bells. (This is your hint that it is, in fact, deadly.) While it’s rare that this plant can do a lot of harm, it is not one to mess around with because it can definitely lead to death. If you like the look of this plant and don’t mind the risk associated with it, it’s fairly easy to grow both in sun and part shade.

Be Aware:

When a human or animal eats this plant, the digestion of it can produce a substance called digitalis that affects heart muscles, which can, in turn, lead to a heart attack. You will see vomiting first, so seek medical attention immediately!

The Bottom Line:

If you don’t have pets that like to eat it, you should be okay growing this garden favorite.

33. Flowering Tobacco

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts All parts, especially the seeds, contain the poison nicotine.

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Love hummingbirds? The flowering tobacco is like a secret weapon when it comes to attracting them. Often overlooked, this annual with star-shaped, tubular blooms is like a magnet to them. If you like fragrant flowers, then you’ll reap some of the rewards, too. These are some of the best scented flowers you can buy, so take a deep breath when you’re outside, and you’re sure to get a whiff of pure sweetness. On sunny days, the blooms actually close up. This might seem counter- intuitive, but it’s guaranteed to make your garden more interesting!

Be Aware:

If pets eat this, you might notice signs of staggering, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The Bottom Line:

Grow it – it’s great for hummingbirds. Keep pets away, though!

34. Buttercup

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts, but especially during the height of flowering season

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Love yellow flowers? This is one you might want to grow in your own backyard. This perennial is common in wildflower areas, and it especially loves wet or moist areas. So you might see this growing near a river, pond, or stream. While some gardeners consider this plant weedy, others love it be- cause it’s easy to grow and has great color. You decide!

Be Aware:

If you have an animal that eats this during the height of the flower season, they might experience mouth inflammation, abdominal pain, and digestion problems.

The Bottom Line:

Grow it in your garden if you want, but know that it can be a bit weedy. Keep it away from growing in meadows or pastures where livestock will be.

35. Daylily

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts can irritate cats

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Daylilies have the great grassy foliage of an ornamental grass while also producing beautiful and colorful blooms. While flowers only last for a day (hence the name), there almost always seems to be an endless supply of blooms because they really keep going all summer. It doesn’t need much care at all. Plus, many gardeners consider them drought tolerant. You can get them in a huge range of colors.

Be Aware:

This plant is particularly harmful to cats – it’s been known to cause kidney problems. And it can give dogs an upset stomach.

The Bottom Line:

Grow it! Daylilies are fantastic additions to backyards for the great foliage and blooms that last all summer.

36. Opium Poppy

Level of Toxicity 3/3
Toxic Parts All parts, but especially the stems, which when sliced open, produce a milky sap that opium is produced from

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

All garden poppies can be poisonous, but these are a little more dangerous because they contain opium. Yes, the same opium found in codeine, which can be a beneficial medicine to many. How- ever, opium is also found in heroin, making it deadly to many, as well. Let’s focus on the garden benefits for a moment, though. They are gorgeous plants with nectar-rich flowers that are attractive to bees. This is also the plant that gives us the poppy seeds we eat on many baked goods.

Be Aware:

Opium is used as pain suppressors and mood elevators. It might seem fun to grow your own opium poppies, but misuse can cause bloodroot poisoning and problems with the central nervous system, which can lead to death.

The Bottom Line:

This isn’t one to mess around with. Don’t grow plants to harvest as your own drugs … ever.

37. Solomon’s Seal

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts, but especially keep an eye out for the berries

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Once gardeners find out about Solomon’s seal, they usually love it and grow it yearly. This plant looks a lot like hostas at first glance because of its rich, beautiful foliage. Also keep an eye out for the little blooms and berries that develop on the underside. Don’t even think about eating those berries, though. You’ll definitely regret it.

Be Aware:

You’d have to consume quite a bit to cause serious problems, but the plant and the berries could cause vomiting, nausea, and more.

The Bottom Line:

This is a great option for shady areas, so plant away. Just keep kids and pets away from eating.

38. Chinese Lantern

Level of Toxicity 2/3
Toxic Parts Leaves, berries

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Here’s another unique plant, and gardeners definitely love unique! The round pods that form near the fruit of this plants are so cool looking! They are paper-like in texture, and definitely add interest to a container or flower display. However, anyone who has grown them knows how easily they can take over, making them a lot more annoying than cool. You might be tempted by these interesting plants, but there are definitely better options out there.

Be Aware:

If the berries on this plant are ripe, they’re edible. But if not, they can cause headache, vomiting, breathing problems, and numbness.

The Bottom Line:

Stay away! This plant is aggressive, weedy, and potentially deadly. This is enough to put it in the “don’t plant” category.

39. Lupine

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Seeds

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

The entire lupine family of flowers are gorgeous backyard plants with somewhat rare blooms that gardeners are often after. They aren’t big plants and they don’t have big flowers, but they definitely make an impact in the garden with clusters of flowers on tall stalks. Lupine blooms in summer, and once you get it started, you’ll look forward to it each year!

Be Aware:

If you or pets eat the seeds of this plant, you might see signs of depression, slow heartbeat, and convulsions. These plants are most problematic if you have a dog or grazing animals that like to munch on a lot of plants.

The Bottom Line:

Lupine makes a nice backyard garden plant. Keep an eye on your pets if they’re around it, but it’s a good addition.

40. Baby’s Breath

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

It’s not native to the United States, but this plant is now making its way throughout the country. In fact, it’s common to see it in wildflower seed mixes, too. It’s a fun one to grow because the plants produce so many tiny white flowers, making it a great backdrop to a perennial bed or as cut flowers. Since it’s been growing in popularity, there are a lot more options these days, so ask someone at your local garden center for a recommendation if you want to grow it!

Be Aware:

If pets eat this plant, it may not be life threatening, but it may cause vomiting, dermatitis, and upset stomachs.

The Bottom Line:

Because it’s a common addition to flower arrangements, it’s just good to keep an eye on pets with cut flowers. Otherwise, feel free to grow it in your backyard without much concern.

41. Flax

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts Seeds contain a form of cyanide

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

This is a small but mighty plant that is fun to grow in the backyard. You seriously just need to sprinkle the seeds in your garden, and they’ll likely flourish from there! The blooms aren’t very big, but they come in gorgeous bluish colors. Flax can take dry conditions and lots of different soil types. So if you want something easy, this just might be your new favorite plant! It should come back year after year, but if not, just sprinkle more seeds each year and grow it as an annual.

Be Aware:

Flaxseed you get from the store is fine because it’s been processed properly. However, the toxicity problem occurs when livestock eat the plant (and therefore the seeds) in the wild or if flaxseed is part of their food. Large doses could cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches, and vomiting.

The Bottom Line:

Grow flax in your garden. It’s one of those great plants that are so easy to grow!

42. Yucca

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers

Poisonous Profile:

You can get a little taste of the desert by planting yucca. It does well in poor or sandy soils, and it definitely is eye catching when growing in the garden. It has spiky green foliage that looks like it could be growing in the Southwest. Then in the summer, it will send off tall stalks of gorgeous, bell-shaped white flowers several feet into the air. Even after the blooms fade, you’ll still have that spiky foliage to add some fun to your garden.

Be Aware:

While it tends to be mild, still keep an eye on pets around this plant because it can cause vomiting, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

The Bottom Line:

Grow it. It’s a dramatic perennial that works well in many different spaces. The spiky nature of this plant keeps most pets away. You’ll still want to be aware of it, though.

43. Cardinal Flower

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

Cardinal flower is known among gardeners as a great plant for hummingbirds (they do love the color red). It’s also a popular option for butterflies. This native perennial is a great one to get started in your garden. The flowers are bold and beautiful, and once you get this plant established, you’ll have great blooms for many years to come.

Be Aware:

Pets who eat parts of this plant, especially in large quantities, might experience depression, vomiting, excess salivation, and abdominal pain.

The Bottom Line:

It’s still a good perennial for most backyards. Just keep an eye on pets and kids.

44. Lily-of-the-Valley

Level of Toxicity 3/3
Toxic Parts All parts

Beautiful flowers

Poisonous Profile:

Lily-of-the-valley is popular plant among home gardeners because you can grow it as a ground cover. This means if you plant lily-of-the-valley in a small area of your garden, it can spread several feet in any and all directions in a few years. Of course, not everyone likes an aggressive plant. If you don’t want it to spread, be sure to plant in a contained area (like a container or where there’s a strong border around it). If you’re going to grow it, keep an eye out in fall. This is when the plant can produce small reddish berries, which could look especially appealing to pets or small kids.

Be Aware:

All parts of the plant contain harmful cardiac glycosides, which are especially concentrated in the underground roots and stems. This can cause nausea, dizziness, and in extreme cases, cardiac arrest.

The Bottom Line:

Even though all parts of this plant are poisonous and it’s a bit aggressive, this is still a perennial that many gardeners continue to grow. It pops up early in spring and lasts well into fall, so you can really get a lot of life out of it.

45. Four O’Clocks

Level of Toxicity 1/3
Toxic Parts All parts can have toxic elements.

Poisonous Flowers in Your Garden

Poisonous Profile:

There’s so much to say about this plant. First off, many think of it as having edible flowers, so the fact that it’s on a “toxic plants” list might surprise some. But it is true – it’s better not to consume this plant. Even if there are times or parts that are okay to eat, you probably don’t want to chance it!

Most gardeners grow it as an annual, but some can grow it as a perennial. It has a bit of a tropical look to it, and it gets its name because the blooms don’t come out until the afternoon – around the four o’clock hour! While you don’t want to eat it, it’s still a good annual and a perfect plant for containers!

Be Aware:

If ingested, you might see signs of nausea or vomiting. Some people even report problems with skin irritation after they handle four o’clocks.

The Bottom Line:

Don’t eat it. Just grow it for its beautiful flowers.

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