When we think about plants, we usually think about how magnificent and beautiful they are. They are a source of sustenance and beauty to the planet. However, what we do not realize is that some plants can be poisonous. If ingested, these plants can cause illness or death in humans and animals.
- 1. Yellow Allamanda (Allamanda cathartica)
- 2. Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia)
- 3. Arrowhead (Syngonium podophyllum)
- 4. Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
- 5. Caladium (Caladium x hortulanum)
- 6. Coffee Senna (Senna occidentalis)
- 7. Oleander (Nerium oleander)
- 8. Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius)
- 9. Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba)
- 10. Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
- 11. King Sago (Cycas revoluta)
- 12. Spotted Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
- 13. Coral Ardisia (Ardisia crenata)
- 14. Lantana (Lantana camara)
- 15. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
- 16. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)
- 17. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
- 18. Florist’s Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
- 19. Buttercups (Ranunculus)
- 20. Azaleas (Rhododendron)
- 21. Bracken Fern (Pteridium esculentum)
- 22. Nightshade (Solanaceae)
- 23. Croton plant (Croton)
- 24. Woodrose/Elephant Creeper (Argyreia nervosa)
Hence, before you ingest a plant, it is recommended to do some research and find out more about it. Figure out which plant it is and then read up on whether it is safe for consumption. Some plants may look beautiful, but you never know the kind of poison they may be holding within their seeds and leaves.
When you plan your Florida garden, keep in mind that plants contain a wide variety of chemical compounds that benefit them by keeping insects away and protecting them from microbial infections. Some plants also produce toxins that inhibit their neighbors’ growth and reproduction.
Here are 24 poisonous plants in Florida that you need to be aware of. Due to Florida’s tropical climate, many poisonous plants thrive in the state.
1. Yellow Allamanda (Allamanda cathartica)
The Yellow Allamanda is an ornamental shrub that grows in tropical locations. Native to Brazil, this plant can grow to a height of 20 feet.
It has leathery leaves and bright yellow flowers in the shape of a trumpet. The entire plant is poisonous, especially its leaves.
2. Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia)
Brugmansia is a small, exotic tropical tree with trumpet-shaped flowers. All parts of Angel’s Trumpet are poisonous, including the roots, seeds, flowers, and leaves.
Touching any part can result in hallucinations and, worse, even death.
3. Arrowhead (Syngonium podophyllum)
The Arrowhead comes from the tropical rain forests in South and Central America. It requires medium to bright light to grow and can tolerate average humidity.
If consumed, the Syngonium podophyllum can cause severe mouth pain as all its parts are poisonous.
4. Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale)
A toxic plant that flowers in autumn, the Autumn Crocus is a member of the Lily family. The greatest concentrations of poison are found in the seeds and flowers of the plant.
The flowers of the Autumn Crocus are purple in color and do not have any leaves.
5. Caladium (Caladium x hortulanum)
Caladium is usually grown as a summer plant because it has colorful foliage that is very attractive. Despite its beauty, it must be kept in mind that it is poisonous and should be kept away from children and pets.
Any contact with the plant can cause irritation to sensitive skin.
6. Coffee Senna (Senna occidentalis)
Senna occidentalis is a weed that grows in the humid tropics as well as subtropics. It can be found on roadsides, sands and silts, degraded pastures, and in arable lands.
Usually, this plant leads to poisoning in confined animals. It is traditionally used in medicines, usually as a laxative.
7. Oleander (Nerium oleander)
This is a small tree or shrub that is cultivated all over the world in temperate and subtropical regions.
Even though the flowers are vibrant and can withstand drought, they are highly poisonous to humans and animals.
8. Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius)
The Rosary Pea is an ornamental, woody vine that is known to reach a height of 10 to 20 feet. In native medicine, a paste is made from the seeds to cure vitiligo and baldness.
However, the seeds of this plant are toxic and should be used under guidance.
9. Gloriosa Lily (Gloriosa superba)
Gloriosa Lily is a flowering plant that is known for its beautiful color and unusual shape. It is a summer-growing plant that usually grows 1.5 meters tall.
If ingested, this plant is poisonous enough to cause animal and human fatalities.
10. Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)
R. communis is a fast-growing small tree or shrub that is grown commercially for pharmaceutical uses. However, keep in mind that it is known to be the most poisonous plant on earth, especially for humans.
If consumed, this plant can lead to an upset stomach, and if the toxins get absorbed by the skin, it can be harmful to the body.
11. King Sago (Cycas revoluta)
Cycas revoluta is a famous Japanese origin houseplant that is popular because of its feathery foliage. It is easy to care for.
However, all parts of this plant are poisonous, and if ingested, they can be harmful to animals and humans.
12. Spotted Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
This plant is known to be the most poisonous plant known to humans. It is usually found in swampy, wet areas and can be accidentally ingested as wild parsnips.
The Spotted Water Hemlock is extremely poisonous- it has been linked to the hemlock that was used to kill Socrates.
13. Coral Ardisia (Ardisia crenata)
This evergreen shrub is native to East Asia. It has oval-shaped leaves that are leathery in touch and can grow with a number of steps.
Even though there is not enough research about this plant, it is said that its berries are poisonous to humans, pets, and livestock.
14. Lantana (Lantana camara)
Lantana camara is a shrub that usually reaches its full height by 2 meters. It loves heat and humidity and can usually be found in Florida.
However, all Lantana plants are poisonous, especially to livestock. The red, pink, and white flowers look pretty but are extremely toxic.
15. Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
The Poinsettia is a plant native to Mexico. It has colorful leaves and its name literally translated to “pretty” or “beautiful” with its big red flowers.
Even though they have a bad reputation, these plants are only toxic to dogs and cats.
16. Lily of the Nile (Agapanthus africanus)
Agapanthus africanus is a beautiful African lily that has rounded clusters of funnel-shaped, blue, fragrant flowers.
Its leaves and bulb are toxic, and if ingested, they can cause mouth ulcerations and skin irritation.
17. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)
Poison Ivy can look like a trailing shrub that is bushy and grows in sunny areas. Sometimes, it also looks like a vine or sprawling plant with a hairy appearance.
Almost all these plants contain urushiol, making them highly poisonous. Read more about the pros and cons of Ivy plants here.
18. Florist’s Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum)
A compact and small plant that flowers in pots, the Cyclamen persicum is seasonal. It is usually potted for Valentine’s Day as its leaves are heart-shaped, and it has red, pink, and purple flowers.
While they look beautiful, these plants should not be chewed by animals as they can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and drooling.
19. Buttercups (Ranunculus)
Ranunculus grows wonderfully during the spring season, especially in temperatures of approximately 55-degree Fahrenheit.
When eaten fresh, these plants are poisonous and can lead to blistering in the mouth.
20. Azaleas (Rhododendron)
These plants are usually grown as garden shrubs because they produce beautiful flowers that bloom in spring.
If small pieces of the Rhododendron are swallowed, serious poisoning will not occur, but ingesting huge amounts can be fatal. Read more about Azalea toxicity.
21. Bracken Fern (Pteridium esculentum)
Pteridium esculentum is chestnut brown at the base and has a woody appearance. It is usually found in dry eucalypt forests.
Consuming fern plants can lead to animal and human poisoning.
22. Nightshade (Solanaceae)
All plants that fall under the Solanaceae family have alternate leaves and are usually colorless. The flowers are bisexual and perfect and usually have five petals.
Once eaten, these plants are poisonous to humans. In fact, two to four berries can be fatal for a human baby.
23. Croton plant (Croton)
The Croton plant is native to the tropical forests of Oceania and Southeast Asia. They usually grow as big shrubs in the wild.
One major benefit of the Croton plant is they can really give some character to an otherwise dull part of the garden. However, beware that these plants are poisonous for cats, dogs, and humans.
24. Woodrose/Elephant Creeper (Argyreia nervosa)
Argyreia nervosa prefers bright sunlight as they grow older. However, the seedlings like partial shade. Native to India, this plant has heart-shaped leaves that are white and purple in color.
Even though the seeds are used for their hallucinogens, the plant is poisonous and dangerous.