Are Carnations Poisonous?

Carnations (Dianthus Carophyllus) are garden favorites and easy-growing perennials, mainly because they make excellent cut flowers. They prefer hardiness zones 7 – 10 and grow into beautiful bushes with brightly colored flowers. Carnations have been cultivated widely for over 2000 years and are seemingly innocent plants. The question is, are they poisonous to people or animals?

Carnations are considered non-toxic to humans. Their leaves, which contain triterpenoid saponins, may cause skin irritation. If ingested, leaves can cause low toxicity symptoms. Carnations can be toxic to animals, causing mild dermatitis if touched and mild gastrointestinal distress if ingested.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Humans?

Overall, carnations are considered non-toxic to humans. Carnation flowers are edible, but the leaves and stem contain triterpenoid saponins which are naturally occurring products that many plants produce, but they can be mildly toxic to specific individuals.

If ingested, carnations leaves can cause mild toxicity symptoms, including minor gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, and vomiting, and in rare cases, it can cause nervous disorders.

These symptoms are considered minor and will usually fix themselves in a few hours. If you have ingested some carnation leaves and you continue to feel unwell, contact your local doctor or poison control center.

If your skin comes into contact with carnations leaves, it could cause mild skin irritation, and the itch should only last a few minutes.

A bouquet of red and white carnations
Yay A bouquet of red and white carnations

Are Carnations Poisonous To Dogs?

Carnations are considered mildly toxic to dogs. If ingested, the toxins present in the carnations leaves can cause gastrointestinal upset in your dog. Symptoms of this can include diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite.

Carnation toxicity is considered mild, and overall recovery typically goes relatively smoothly. Although, it is best to contact your local veterinarian if your dog ingests a carnation.

Skin exposure may cause dermatitis in your dog. The symptoms of this are itching of the skin and skin irritation or inflammation. It’s best to contact your local vet if you notice that your dog suffers from dermatitis caused by interaction with a carnation. The prognosis is overall good for a full recovery.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Cats?

Carnations are considered mildly toxic to cats. If cats ingest any part of a carnations leaves, stem, or petals, they can suffer from mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and in some cases, drooling. These symptoms can cause secondary signs of weakness, dehydration, and a decreased appetite.

The carnations sap can also cause dermatitis-like symptoms on the cats’ lips, turning reddish, swelling up, or appearing irritated. These symptoms are usually short-lived, often only lasting a few hours.

If sap from a leaf comes into contact with a cats’ skin, it can cause dermatitis. Reports have shown that if a cat ingests some carnation, reactions similar to dermatitis can occur in the stomach, esophagus, and lower digestive systems.

There have been no recorded cat fatalities due to carnation poisoning. Even so, it would be best if you took cats ingesting carnations seriously every time.

bouquet of garden Turkish carnations
Yay bouquet of garden Turkish carnations

Are Carnations Poisonous to Horses?

Like with dogs and cats, carnations are mildly toxic to horses. If ingested, they can cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms including, diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. It can also cause dermatitis if it comes into contact with the skin.

If you believe that your horse might have ingested some carnation, it’s best to contact your local vet for further treatment instructions.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Goats?

There are no reports of carnations being poisonous to goats. They might eat some petals as they have a clove-like fragrance and might therefore attract a goat’s interest. Otherwise, goats will probably not be interested in eating carnations.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Chickens?

Carnations are considered non-toxic to chickens, and there have been reports of them happily snacking on carnation flowers. So if you keep chickens, you can rest assured that your garden carnations will pose no threat to them if they happen to ingest some.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Rabbits?

Rabbits are notorious garden scavengers and will eat just about any plant that comes into their path. If you have rabbits hopping around your home or garden, it’s best not to plant any carnations where they will be accessible, as carnations are mildly toxic to rabbits.

Symptoms of carnation poisoning usually are gastrointestinal upset, which can result in vomiting. As rabbits’ stomachs are extremely sensitive, it would be best to contact your vet immediately if you suspect your rabbit has consumed some carnation.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Cows?

There are no reports of carnations being poisonous to cows. Carnations might not be readily available to most cows to eat, and therefore, we don’t have any reliable data on whether they are poisonous to them or not.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Pigs?

There have been reports that carnations are toxic to pigs. If you are a mini-pig owner, you should be especially careful about letting your pig near carnations. If a pig ingests a carnation leaf, you should contact your local vet straight away.

Are Carnations Poisonous To Deer?

Many different sources will tell you that carnations are deer resistant, and therefore, we know that deer will not happily eat these plants. You can only assume that this means that there is a reason deer do not eat carnations. Deers’ aversion to carnations could be due to carnations being mildly toxic to them, or they do not like the smell or taste of a carnation.

Are Carnations Edible?

Carnation flowers are considered edible with a lovely sweet flavor and a clove-like fragrance. You should only eat the flowers of a carnation if it has been grown organically, avoiding eating carnation flowers that have had a herbicide or pesticide treatment or any found growing near road-sides.

Many people use these flowers in salads or as decorations on cakes; they can be candied or steeped in wine. The base of the flower, which is white, has a bitter flavor and should be removed from the petals before consumption.

French liqueur Chartreuse has been using carnations petals in their production process since the 17th century.