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Plants Pets Should Avoid


Decorating your home for the holidays is an annual tradition for many Americans that often includes the addition of pretty plants, bulbs and evergreens. But if you share your home with pets, there is some greenery you may want to omit as they can be toxic.


A very common example of a plant that is often used in holiday decorating is the poinsettia, which comes in a variety of pretty colors ranging from bright red to a rich, soothing cream. Eating this may cause your pet some digestive discomfort and minor vomiting, but it is not as toxic as other plants such as the amaryllis bulb, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and even tremors.


Below is a comprehensive chart from The Humane Society of the United States that lists plants that are potentially poisonous to pets. This includes both indoor and outdoor plants, so it can be used as a year-round reference.


Keep your vet's number handy at all times as well as these two numbers:

 

  • The ASPCA's Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435 (24/7, 365; $65 fee)
  • Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680 (24 hour availability; $39 fee, payable by credit card)

Do not assume that inducing vomiting is always the first course of action; locate the plant or other toxin first and seek advice from a professional.


A little prevention really can go a long way in enjoying the holidays. Familiarize yourself with those plants that may be toxic for your pets and avoid having them in your home. A safe and attractive alternative for holiday decorating is to substitute artificial greenery - today's are so lifelike that it's almost impossible to tell them from the real thing!

Plants potentially poisonous to pets

 

PLANT

TOXIC PARTS

PLANT TYPE

 

Daffodil

 

bulbs

 

garden flower

 

Daphne

bark, berries,

leaves

 

ornamental shrub

 

Day lily

entire plant is

toxic to cats

garden &

wildflower

 

Death Camas

leaves, stems,

seeds, flowers

 

field herb

Delphinium

(Larkspur)

entire plant esp.

sprouts

 

wildflower

 

Dumbcane

 

entire plant

 

house plant

Dutchman's

breeches

 

roots, foliage

wild & garden

flower

 

Easter lily

entire plant is

toxic to cats

flowering house

plant

 

Elderberry

leaves, bark,

roots, buds

 

tree

 

Elephant's ear

 

entire plant

 

house plant

 

English Ivy

entire plant esp.

leaves, berries

 

ornamental vine

European

Bittersweet

entire plant esp.

berries

 

vine

 

False Flax

 

seeds

 

wild herb

 

False hellebore

roots, leaves,

seeds

ornamental

flower

Fan weed

seeds

wildflower, herb

Field

peppergrass

 

seeds

 

wildflower, herb

 

Foxglove

 

leaves

wild & garden

flower

 

Holly

 

berries

 

shrub

 

Horsechestnut

 

nuts, sprouts

 

tree

 

Horse nettle

entire plant esp.

berries

 

wildflower, herb

 

Hyacinth

 

bulbs

wild & house

plant

 

Iris

 

leaves, roots

wild & garden

flower

Jack-in-the-

pulpit

entire plant esp.

roots, leaves

 

wildflower

 

Jatropha

 

seeds

 

tree, shrub

Jerusalem

Cherry

unripe fruit,

foliage

 

ornamental plant

 

 

PLANT

TOXIC PARTS

PLANT TYPE

 

Jimsonweed

entire plant esp.

seeds

 

field plant

 

Laburum

seeds, pods,

flowers

 

ornamental plant

 

Lantana

 

foliage

 

house plant

 

Larkspur

 

young plants

 

wildflower

 

Laurels

 

leaves

 

shrub

 

Lily of the valley

 

leaves, flowers

garden &

wildflower

 

Lupines

 

seeds, pods

 

shrub

 

Manchineel Tree

 

sap, fruit

 

tree

 

Matrimony vine

 

leaves, shoots

 

ornamental vine

 

Mayapple

unripe fruit, roots,

foliage

 

wildflower

 

Milk vetch

 

entire plant

 

wildflower

 

Mistletoe

 

berries

 

house plant

 

Monkshood

entire plant esp.

roots, seeds

 

wildflower

 

Moonseed

 

fruit, roots

 

vine

Morning glory

seeds, roots

wildflower

Mountain

mahogany

 

leaves

 

shrub

 

Mustards

 

seeds

 

wildflower

 

Narcissus

 

bulbs

 

garden flower

 

Nicotiana

 

leaves

 

garden flower

 

Nightshade

 

leaves, berries

 

wildflower, vine

 

Oaks

 

shoots, leaves

 

tree

 

Oleander

 

leaves

 

ornamental shrub

 

Philodendrons

 

entire plant

 

house plant

 

Pokeweed

roots, seeds,

berries

 

field plant

 

Poinsettia

leaves, stem,

flowers

 

house plant

 

 

PLANT

TOXIC PARTS

PLANT TYPE

 

Poison hemlock

 

leaves, stem, fruit

 

field plant

 

Potato

 

shoots, sprouts

 

garden plant

 

Rattle box

 

entire plant

 

wildflower

 

Rhododendron

 

leaves

 

ornamental shrub

 

Rhubarb

 

leaves

 

garden plant

 

Rosary pea

 

seeds

 

house plant

 

Sago palm

entire plant esp

seeds

 

ornamental plant

 

Skunk cabbage

entire plant esp

roots, leaves

 

marsh plant

 

Smartweeds

 

sap

 

wildflower

Snow-on-the-

mountain

 

sap

 

field plant

 

Sorghum

 

leaves

 

grass

 

Star of Bethlehem

 

entire plant

 

wildflower

 

Velvet grass

 

leaves

 

grass

 

Wild black cherry

 

leaves, pits

 

tree

Wild radish

seeds

wildflower

 

Wisteria

 

pods, seeds

 

ornamental plant

 

Woody aster

 

entire plant

 

wildflower

 

Yellow jessamine

 

entire plant

 

ornamental vine

 

Yellow oleander

entire plant esp.

leaves

 

garden plant

 

Yellow pine flax

entire plant esp.

seedpods

 

wildflower

 

Yew

bark, leaves,

seeds

 

ornamental tree

 

 

Information from The Humane Society of the United States: www.humanesociety.org

 

 

PLANT

TOXIC PARTS

PLANT TYPE

 

Aconite

roots, foliage,

seeds

 

garden flower

 

Apple

 

seeds

 

cultivated tree

 

Arrowgrasses

 

leaves

 

marsh plants

 

Atropa belladonna

entire plant esp.

seeds, roots

 

garden herb

 

Autumn Crocus

 

entire plant

 

garden flower

 

Azaleas

 

entire plant

cultivated & wild

shrub

 

Baneberry

 

berries, roots

 

wildflower

 

Bird-of-Paradise

 

pods

 

garden flower

 

Black locust

entire plant esp.

bark, shoots

 

tree

 

Bloodroot

entire plant esp.

stem, roots

 

wildflower, herb

 

Box

entire plant esp.

leaves

 

ornamental shrub

 

Buckeye

sprouts, nuts,

seeds

 

tree

 

Buttercup

entire plant esp.

leaves

wildflower,

garden herb

 

Caladium

 

entire plant

 

house plant

Carolina jessamine

flowers, leaves

ornamental plant

 

Castor bean

entire plant esp.

beans

 

house plant

 

Chinaberry tree

 

berries

 

tree

 

Chockcherries

 

leaves, cherries, pit

 

wild shrub

 

Christmas berry

 

leaves

 

shrub

 

Christmas Rose

 

rootstock, leaves

 

garden flower

 

Common privet

 

leaves, berries

 

ornamental shrub

 

Corn cockle

 

seeds

 

wildflower, weed

 

Cowbane

entire plant esp.

roots

 

wildflower, herb

 

Cow cockle

 

seeds

 

wildflower, weed

 

Cowslip

entire plant esp.

leaves, stem

 

wildflower, herb

 

Deborah Dobson, FizzNiche Staff Writer