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Poisonous Plants for Cats, Dogs, Humans

If you have kids and/or pets, then you probably worry about the possible presence of poisonous plants in your landscaping. With good reason! Many common plants you have grown up with and do not think twice about are, in fact, toxic. Most of these resources focus on plants poisonous to humans; the bottom two pertain to cats and dogs.
  1. Poison Ivy Plants
  2. Vines (6)
  3. Shrubs (9)

Pictures of Poisonous Plants
What is a good place to start in protecting children or pets against the dangers posed by the presence of poisonous plants in the landscape? Why not begin with these aids for identifying toxic weeds, perennials, etc.? I supply descriptions of the plants, pictures of them and more.

Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) are the poster child for the pretty-but-poisonous category. It surprises some people that foxgloves are toxic plants, given that they boast a medicinal use. Actually, there is nothing unusual about this fact: many plants used medicinally by experts are toxic to the layman.

Pictures of Poison Ivy
Who wants to look at pictures of poison ivy? People who want to identify it, that's who! The informed will avoid contact with poison ivy and the rash that follows in the wake of contact. But to help you further, my gallery also includes photos of plants that masquerade as poison ivy. No sense in fleeing from the impostors.

"Kiss of Death" Poisonous Plants: Mistletoe
Don't forget: you kiss under the mistletoe; you don't kiss the mistletoe itself, which is toxic! In all seriousness, though, mistletoe berries are toxic, so do not let young children fool around with them. Since mistletoe is brought indoors at Christmas as a decoration, you need to be especially aware of the toxicity of this poisonous plant.

Lily of the Valley
North Americans dedicated to growing native plants may prefer wild lily of the valley, or "Canada mayflower," but others are captivated by the aroma exuded by Convallaria majalis, the Eurasian lily of the valley. But beware lily of the valley if you have pets or children in the yard who may accidentally ingest it: it is a poisonous plant.

Castor Beans
Castor bean plants possess a rather striking form and are sometimes used as ornamentals in landscape design. These are tropicals and therefore tender, but Northerners can grow them in the summer. The seeds of castor bean plants are poisonous, however: they contain ricin, which can cause death.

Daffodils bring much delight in spring with their blooms. But ingesting the bulbs of these poisonous plants brings nausea, vomiting, diarrhea -- and in some cases, even death. That is why Narcissus is one bulb plant that squirrel pests will leave alone (toxicity is not always a bad thing).

Creeping Charlie Weed
Creeping charlie is a very common, invasive lawn weed that used to play a part in, of all things, beer production. But they're poisonous plants for dogs and cats, so make sure your pets aren't nibbling on them. Despite its invasiveness and toxicity, I'll say this much for creeping charlie: mowing it is an olfactory delight.

There is so much to like about peonies. What's not to like about a long-lived and incredibly hardy perennial with large, colorful flowers, attractive leaves and a heady fragrance? Well, maybe there is just one thing not to like: peonies are toxic to dogs.

The "Big 3" of Poisonous Plants: Meet the Rhus Genus
There are 3 poisonous plants that are responsible for a great many cases of rashes every year: poison ivy, oak and sumac, all species of Rhus. Use the links I supply in these articles to navigate to information on the identification, eradication and treatment of these itchy menaces.

Plants Poisonous to Dogs
Most dogs are rambunctious by nature. That means they get into everything. It also means they are very likely to ingest something in the yard that will make them sick. Some plants poisonous to dogs will cause little more than vomiting; but ingesting others has severe repercussions.

Poisonous Plants to Be Aware of If You Own a Cat
Unlike dogs, most people would not characterize cats as "rambunctious." But even finicky cats get into something that they shouldn't now and then. My own cat has been known to nibble on grass and anything grass-like. Franny Syufy, About.com's Guide to Cats, shares some information on poisonous plants for cats, replete with photos.

Purple Wood Spurge
Purple wood spurge is related to a variety of plants (some good, some bad) that you may know. For example, the bad side of the family includes spotted spurge (a common weed). But on the good side, poinsettia is also a relative.

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