23 Poisonous Plants in Arkansas

Arkansas is home to a wide range of flora that may be found in backyards, fields, forests, and hiking routes. They may look innocuous, yet they are capable of poisoning you. Toxic plants may be found all across the city, even in the suburbs, especially along roads and in other public areas. These plants have the potential to cause a broad variety of hazards, from minor irritations that go away quickly to permanent scars.

Blisters, burning, and scarring from some of them can continue for years, while discomfort and itching from others might last anywhere from a few hours to a few days or longer. People that ingest these poisonous plants may have a variety of unpleasant side effects, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the circumstances. Poisonous plants cause injury to tens of thousands of people each year. Since they don’t know how to identify these plants, they suffer from severe skin irritations and allergic responses.

In addition to the more pleasant weather, summer is also the time of year when a variety of wild plants appear in unexpected locations. Toxic plants may be dangerous to both humans and animals. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of these plants.

1. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans)

Poison Ivy
JumpStory Poison Ivy

Eastern poison ivy is a toxic plant that belongs to eastern North America. When people touch this plant, they may get severe, itchy, and painful skin irritation. This plant has a wide range of growth patterns. The leaves typically have three leaflets, which may be hairless and glossy or hairy, complete, lobbed, or toothed, depending on the species. Mature leaves become crimson or yellow in the fall, depending on the variety.

2. Poison Oak (Toxicodendron Diversilobum)

Poison Oak
Jerry Kirkhart Poison Oak

Those who contact poison oak plants by touching or inhaling the plant’s smoke are more likely to experience irritation and allergic reactions. So, it is frequently removed from gardens and public landscaped spaces. But it may still be used in wildlife gardens, habitat gardens, and natural landscapes if placed in the right place. Habitat restoration programs rely on poison oak.

3. Fragrant Sumac (Rhus Aromatica)

Rhus aromatica Fragrant Sumac
Plant Image Library Rhus aromatica (Fragrant Sumac)

The fragrant sumac, also known as Rhus aromatica, is the Anacardiaceae family’s North American deciduous shrub. You may find it across southern Canada and virtually all of the United States except for the peninsula of Florida. Rhus aromatica is a relative of poison ivy, although it is not toxic. It originates in the eastern United States and Canada. Root suckers help in the growth of this dense, low-growing shrub.

4. Carolina Horsenettle (Solanum Carolinense)

Solanum Carolinense
Melissa McMaster Solanum Carolinense

The Carolina horsenettle, Solanum carolinense, is a member of the nightshade plants. It is a native of the southern United States and an herbaceous perennial that grows to heights of two feet or more. Many regions of Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia are affected by this invasive plant. There is a consensus that the leaves and green fruits of this plant are generally poisonous. The juice of wilted leaves can be very poisonous and even fatal.

5. Dusky Dogfennel (Chamaemelum Fuscatum)

Chamaemelum fuscatum
Daniela Chamaemelum fuscatum

This plant has beautiful dissected leaves that may grow up to 6 1/2 feet tall. Dogfennel is most commonly found in various agronomic crops, pastures, hay, and nursery areas. It can be found in areas ranging from Massachusetts to Texas in the southeastern United States. You may find linear segments on the undersides of its leaves. The lower leaves of this plant may be alternating, while the upper leaves are invariably opposite.

6. Mayapples (Podophyllum Peltatum)

Mayapple Podophyllum peltatum
Yay Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

Deciduous woodlands are home to a common native plant known as mayapple. Mayapple may be found in much of eastern North America, from Maine to Texas in zones 3 to 8. One species of Podophyllum peltatum is found in the barberry family. Its mature yellow fruit may be eaten in minor quantities, but it is dangerous if ingested in significant quantities. Rhizomes, roots, and leaves of this plant are all toxic. Podophyllotoxin, a substance found in mayapple, is very poisonous when swallowed.

7. Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium Sempervirens)

Yellow jessamine
Yay Yellow jessamine

The tangled vine Gelsemium sempervirens is native to the subtropical and tropical regions of South and Central America and the southeastern and south-central regions of the United States. The entire plant is highly toxic. Even a tiny amount can be deadly. Visual issues, trouble swallowing, headaches, and dizziness are only some of the poisoning symptoms. Other symptoms include breathing difficulties and seizures.

8. Poison Hemlock (Conium Maculatum)

Poison Hemlock
Jump Poison Hemlock

Small quantities of green or dried herb can harm cattle, sheep, horses, swine, and other domestic animals. In addition, it is highly toxic to humans. White blooms appear in groups along the stems of poison hemlock. The development of each bloom forms green, deep-ridged fruits with numerous seeds. The color of the fruit darkens as it ripens. Poison hemlock begins to sprout in the spring.

9. Castor Oil Plant (Ricinus Communis)

Castor oil plant
Yay Castor oil plant

It would be best to keep the seeds of this plant out of children’s reach since they are incredibly harmful. Ricino, the lethal toxin contained in castor seeds, is 12,000 times more dangerous than rattlesnake venom, according to the CDC. When taken orally, four seeds can be fatal to an average-sized adult, although lesser doses can cause vomiting, nausea, and convulsions if swallowed.

10. White Snakeroot (Ageratina Altissima)

White snakeroot
Yay White snakeroot

White snakeroot, white sanicle, and richweed are all common names for Ageratina altissima, a toxic perennial herb in the Asteraceae family that grows wild in eastern and central North America. White snakeroot’s leaves and stems contain tremetol, a poisonous substance that can harm animals and humans. Because it’s an accumulative toxin, an individual will only reach toxicity over time. Lack of coordination, muscle degeneration, tremors, and an erratic heart rhythm are symptoms of the toxin’s effects on the heart.

11. Dumb Canes (Dieffenbachia)

Dieffenbachia Dumb cane
Forest and Kim Starr Dieffenbachia (Dumb cane)

Inexperienced and seasoned plant enthusiasts grow dieffenbachia because these houseplants are easy to care for. These flowering plant genera have more than 500 species. The two common names for dieffenbachia are dumb cane and mother-in-law’s tongue plant, reflecting its toxicity when consumed. It is common for dieffenbachia leaves to have a mix of green, yellow, and white, depending on the species.

12. Oleander (Nerium Oleander)

Yay Oleander

Oleander is an exceedingly dangerous plant found in the wild. Consumption of dry oleander leaves can be deadly if they comprise 0.005% of the bodyweight of an animal. According to recent investigations, nearly three leaves of oleander can be dangerous for crossbred heifers and horses. Researchers analyzed that the average dangerous dosage of the leaves of this plant is around 26 mg per kilogram of its body weight.

13. Larkspur (Delphinium)

Yay Delphinium

There are over 300 species of Larkspur Delphinium (Ranunculaceae) plant. It is endemic to the Northern Hemisphere, as well as to the high highlands of equatorial Africa, where they grow in abundance. This plant is known to be both therapeutic and toxic for humans. The Delphinium genus is hazardous to people as well as cattle due to its toxicity.

14. Coffee Senna (Senna Occidentalis)

Coffee Senna
Jkadavoor (Jee) Coffee Senna

Senna occidentalis is a plant species that may be found throughout the tropics. Other names for this plant include coffee senna (coffee weed), auaukoi (Hawaii), piss-a-bed, and stinking weed (styptic weed). Senna is a popular herb used as a laxative or diuretic in traditional medicine. It is unusual to encounter cases of someone becoming poisoned by senna, despite the plant’s high potential for harm.

15. Bittersweet/Woody Nightshade (Solanum Dulcamara)

liz west Bittersweet

As part of the family Solanaceae, Solanum dulcamara is one of the species of vines in the Solanum genus. Any given plant’s toxicity depends on its ability to get and utilize essential nutrients and its current growth stage. The toxins on your hands from handling this plant are not hazardous, but you should wash your hands carefully to avoid swallowing them.

16. Bracken Fern (Pteridium Esculentum)

Bracken Fern
Magnus Hagdorn Bracken Fern

There are several species of bracken fern in the genus, but Pteridium esculentum, better known as bracken or Austral bracken, is among them. It is endemic to several regions in the Southern Hemisphere. However, there is a problem with bracken: It is edible, but it is also very poisonous, especially the fiddleheads, and has caused farmers’ stomachs to hurt for ages.

17. Dogbane/Indian Hemp (Apocynum Cannabinum)

Indian Hemp
Bonnie James Indian Hemp

Apocynum cannabinum can be found in the southern part of Canada and all over the United States. The scientific name of this plant is Apocynum. A person who ingests any part of this plant might die from cardiac arrest. The Indian Hemp plant can reach a height of 5 feet. When bruised, this plant’s components release a milky fluid, and all portions of the plant are regarded as very hazardous to humans by the scientific community.

18. Horsetail (Equisetum Spp.)

Yay Horsetail

The horsetail, or Equisetum arvense, is a potentially toxic herb that can cause considerable harm if eaten in large numbers by horses and cows. Toxins in the plant, such as thiaminase, which degrades vitamins before entering the body, can cause health problems. Consuming too much of the plant can lead to convulsions and twitching, losing coordination, and even death.

19. Gold Dust Plant (Aucuba Japonica)

Aucuba japonica
Yay Aucuba japonica

A thick rounded evergreen shrub aucuba grows slowly. It loves wet, rich, well-drained soil in moderate to full shade. During the spring, the flowers of this plant bloom, and the foliage is lustrous green with yellow blotches. They are not as hazardous as some other toxic plants, but people should still use them cautiously in the home. Croton plants are known to poison people, cats, and dogs.

20. Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster)

Yay Cotoneaster

Flowering plants of the Rosaceae genus Cotoneaster are endemic to the Palearctic area, with a large variety in the genus concentrated in China’s southwest and Himalayan mountains. Cotoneaster berries are generally safe for canines and felines to consume. However, some may experience gastrointestinal symptoms due to their consumption. Even though significant doses of the cyanogenic glycosides in Cotoneaster might cause harm if swallowed, this is more common in herbivores than in carnivores.

21. Hortensia (Hydrangea)

Yay Hydrangeas

More than 75 blooming plants in the Hydrangea family are native to Asia and the Americas and are often known as hydrangea or hortensia. Eastern Asia, including Korea, China, and Japan, is home to most of its species. Hydrangeas are toxic to felines, dogs, and horses, and they are not safe for humans to eat or drink. Because of the presence of cyanogenic glycoside in every part of the plant, it is toxic. The clinical indicators you may notice include diarrhea, sadness, or vomiting.

22. Lupine (Lupinus)

Yay Lupine

Lupinus, often known as lupine, lupines, or bluebonnet, is a flowering plant in the Fabaceae family native to the United States. Lupine is harmful to animals and can cause discomfort in a human’s body if it is swallowed in a significant amount. A high level of poison is found in the leaves of this plant, but the seeds are the primary source of the toxin.

23. Milkweed (Asclepias)

Yay Milkweed

Cardenolides, a class of cardiac glycosides found in Asclepias latex, are secreted when cells are injured and are responsible for the common name of milkweeds. The leaves and other above-ground portions of this plant are toxic. Cardenolides, a class of glucosidic compounds found in these plants, are poisonous. A loss from milkweed can occur any time of year, but it is most harmful during the growing season.