Identify Poisonous Plants



Poisoning from plants may occur from ingesting, inhalation or skin contact. Poisoning by inhalation can be from pollen, dust, fumes or from burning plants and can cause symptoms similar to hay fever or asthma. Contact poisoning on the skin or eyes can occur with direct contact with plant sap or fine hairs. This can cause swelling, rashes or blistering.

If a person is unconscious, unresponsive or having trouble breathing, phone 000 or go to the Emergency Dept. It would be helpful to take a piece of the plant with you for identification.  If a person is conscious and responsive call the Poisons Information centre on 131 126 or go to a local Doctor. The symptoms will vary depending on dose consumed or touched and can be progressive as time elapses. Depending on their toxicity some plants are capable of causing serious illness whilst other require large quantities to be consumed before mild symptoms show.

Other plants such as fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices can also cause problems in animals. Some examples are: Aloe Vera, Apricot and Peach kernels, Cherry trees, Chocolate, Eggplant, Nutmeg, Nuts, Potatoes sprouts and vines, unripe tomatoes, and Rosemary.

Agapanthus Leaves Leaves can   cause acute skin irritation and ulceration of the mouth
Alocasia –   Elephant’s Ear All parts Skin and   eye irritant. Burning and swelling of tongue and throat
Aloe Vera Sap Sap should   never be ingested as it is poisonous. Can cause abdominal cramping, red urine   or diarrhoea
Alstromeria   – Princess Lily All parts   especially flowers, leaves & stems Can cause   skin allergies
Amaryllis   – Naked ladies Milky sap When sap   touches skin it can cause intense burning and blisters. If splashed on eyes   it can cause blurred vision, red swollen eyelids and maybe temporary   blindness
Angels   Trumpet Fruit,   seeds and flowers The fruit,   seeds and flowers can cause dry throat increasing thirst, disturbance of   vision, giddiness, flushed face, headache
Arum Lily All parts   are poisonous including yellow spike and white spathe If eaten   symptoms can include swelling of tongue and throat, stomach pain, vomiting,   diarrhoea
Asiatic   Lily All parts Particularly   toxic to kittens and cats, kidney problems
Autumn   Crocus All parts Gastro-intestinal   upset, respiratory paralysis, renal damage, exhaustion and shock
Avocado Leaves and   fruit Will cause   heart failure in budgies and canaries
Azaleas   & Rhododendrons All parts Nausea,   vomiting, depression, difficulty in breathing, coma
Brunsfelsia Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow Dogs,   especially puppies are drawn to this colourful plant with berries. Eating   these can cause neurological symptoms, tremors that progress to seizures and   even death
Camphor   Laurel All parts Can cause   allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea
Cape Lilac Fruit Gastro   intestinal distress, bloody stools 6-8 fruit can be fatal to a child
Castor Oil   plant Seeds Restlessness,   cold clammy skin, thirst, rapid pulse, cramps, drowsiness, collapse 2-8 seeds   is lethal dose for adults. Can cause severe allergic reactions
Cestrum All parts Nausea,   pupil dilation, muscular weakness, hallucinations, weak pulse then coma
Clematis Leaves and   sap Skin   irritations, blisters, dizziness, vomiting, convulsions
Clivia Bulbs and   roots Large   quantities must be ingested to cause symptoms. Toxic to dogs and cats.   Vomiting, salivations, convulsions, diarrhoea, tremors
Cotoneaster Fruit –   Red berries Intense   nausea and vomiting
Cycads   & Cardboard palm – Zamia Leaves and   nuts Highly   toxic when ingested in large amounts. Symptoms can be irregular stiffness   when walking, paralysis, liver damage
Daffodils   and Jonquils bulbs Nausea,   vomiting, diarrhoea, trembling and convulsions
Dahlias bulbs Can cause dermatitis   in cats and dogs
Daphne Berries Burning   sensation in mouth, vomiting, diarrhoea, weak rapid pulse, convulsions
Delphiniums All parts Irregular   heartbeat and pulse. Digestive upset and dizziness
Dieffenbachia All parts Intense   burning and irritation of mouth and tongue. Swelling causes difficulty in   swallowing
Duranta Fruit Sleepiness,   high temperature, rapid pulse
Foxglove All parts Irregular   heart beat and pulse. Usually digestive upset and dizziness
Frangipani Milky sap   from stem if cut It’s a   skin irritant and can cause allergic reactions in humans and animals
Grapes  & Sultanas


Can cause   kidney damage in dogs
Hippeastrum Bulb Sap can be   a skin irritant
Holly Berries   and leaves Nausea,   vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness
Hydrangeas All parts   when ingested Mild skin   irritant, rash, gastroenteritis
Japanese   Box Leaves and   twigs Gastro   enteritis, bloody diarrhoea, respiratory failure and convulsions
Lantana Leaves   & Green berries Muscular   weakness and circulatory collapse. Possible skin & eye irritant,   dermatitis
Monstera –   Fruit Salad plant Fruit   Salad plant


Morning   Glory Seeds Visual   distortions, restlessness and nausea
Mushrooms   & toadstools All parts Sweating,   diarrhoea, vomiting, mental disturbance, convulsions, coma
Norfolk   Island Pine All parts   including seeds Toxic to   cats and dogs. Can cause allergic reactions & rashes when touched or   pollen inhaled. May vomit when eaten
Oak tree Acorns   & leaves Are   poisonous to cattle such as horses, sheep and goats. In large quantities the   toxin tannic acid causes kidney damage and gastroenteritis
Oleander All parts Affects   heart and pulse. Usually causes digestive upset and mental confusion.   Ingestion of one leaf or flower can be dangerous to a child
Poinsettias Leaves and   stems Present   a danger to humans & animals, can cause them Diarrhoea, abdominal   cramping, Sap can cause irritation, and blindness if rubbed in eyes
Privet Leaves and   berries in large amounts Vomiting,   diarrhoea, Skin irritation & scent can upset respiratory allergies
Rhubarb   leaves Leaf   blades Minor skin   irritant. Staggering, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea,
Rhus tree All parts Irritation,   rashes and blistering of skin. Swelling of the face which may spread
Sacred   Bamboo – Nandina Domestica All parts   contain toxic substances Poisonous   to cats. Can cause weakness, seizures, respiratory failure
Sansevieria   – Mother-in-laws tongue Mildly   toxic. May cause nausea and vomiting
Stephanotis Inedible   berries Toxic to   animals
Strelitzia   – Bird of Paradise Pods and   seeds Vomiting,   diarrhoea, drowsiness, vertigo
Wisteria All parts   especially seeds and pods Pets   eating this plant can become sick with vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea