Plants That Can Be Dangerous

We enjoy the visual splendor of many beautiful plants and flowers in our homes and gardens. The last thing we are thinking about is whether they are dangerous plants or not. After all, how can a delicate, innocuous thing of beauty ever hurt anybody?

But the truth is, there are many common indoor and outdoor plants that are toxic to humans, especially children. Being armed with this knowledge can help you protect your family and from being unintentionally poisoned.

The following is a list of the most common dangerous plants. If you have plants that aren’t listed here and you have concerns about their toxicity, please call the Poison Center, or visit your local nursery.

Top Dangerous Plants


Wild mushrooms picked from the woods or your yard are extremely dangerous if ingested. Do not take any chances if this happens. Go to the emergency room immediately, and try to bring a sample of the mushroom with you.


Be wary of using this plant when decorating for the holiday season. This plant is very toxic. While a small child could eat one or two of the holly berries without suffering any ill effects, ingesting around 20 berries can actually cause extreme, serious illness and even death.


This stunning flowering plant is one of the most poisonous there is. Even a small amount of its leaves eaten by a child can cause extreme gastrointestinal or cardiac distress, and can also be lethal. Even touching an oleander plant can cause terrible skin irritations, inflammation of the eyes, and numbness.


Who knew this tiny, delicate plant, its flowers and leaves can be a killer? This plant contains dangerous convallatoxins, which can cause hot flashes, heart contractions, and hallucinations, as well as significantly slowing down the heart, potentially causing a coma and even death.


Every part of this common backyard plant, especially the flowers, is extremely toxic. It contains cyanogenic glycoside, a dangerous poison that when swallowed can cause shortness of breath, rapid pulse, dizziness, and fainting, and has the potential to drop the blood pressure which may lead to convulsions and death.


This gorgeous flowering plant gives you only 6 hours after consuming until it kills you. The entire plant contains high concentrations of toxic alkaloids. Immediately after ingesting this plant, you will experience nausea and vomiting, burning of the mouth and slowing of the heart.

Mountain Laurel

This cousin to rhododendrons and azaleas contains andromedotoxins in its leaves, flowers, and pollen, which when swallowed directly affects the gastrointestinal tract. In addition to less severe symptoms such as mouth, eye, and nose watering, it can slow the heart, or cause anything from kidney failure, paralysis and death.

Your garden may be a relaxing sanctuary for your family and pets, but it can be extremely dangerous when curious tots snack on its beautiful contents. Always seek immediate medical treatment as soon as any plant or flower is ingested, as it is always better to be safe than sorry.

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