19 Poisonous Plants in Nebraska

Nebraska is a state that is located in the Midwestern region of the United States. The beautiful State is bordered by South Dakota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Wyoming, and Colorado. Humans have inhabited the State of Nebraska for thousands of years since this is mainly where indigenous tribes lived as well. There is plenty of nature in Nebraska, which also contains some noteworthy poisonous plants that we will list here.

This State holds the largest underground water supply in the country. Not to mention, it also has more miles of river than any other region in the United States. This is perhaps why there is such a massive existence of flora and fauna, and forest resources in this particular region. Additionally, the abundance of water supply is also one of the main reasons why Nebraska is known as the tree planter’s State.

Today, there are around three acres of land in the State that is filled with trees. You can find over thirteen million trees in Nebraska. However, not all of these trees are safe. Considering the massive amount of trees in the State, there are also a considerable number of trees and plants here that are dangerous since they may carry poison.

It is essential for those visiting or living in the State to be aware of such plants in order to stay safe and avoid them. This guide takes a thorough look into Nebraska’s poisonous plants.

1. Death Camas (toxicoscordion venenosum)

Death Camas
Ed Ogle Death Camas

This species of flowering plant is perhaps one of the most dangerous ones you can find in Nebraska. It is typically grown in drylands where water is scarce. The death camas, which are also known as meadow death camas, are completely toxic since all parts of the plant are poisonous to humans and animals alike. If both consume too much of the plant, it can be fatal for them.

2. Dwarf Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)

Asclepias speciosa
peganum Asclepias speciosa

These are yet another species of poisonous plants that grow on dry soils. You can also find the dwarf milkweed in meadows and waste areas. All species of this plant, whether with narrow or broad leaves, are considered to be dangerous. They contain toxic substances within them, which is why consumption by humans and animals can lead to a detrimental negative impact on the digestive, respiratory, and nervous systems. As a result, overconsumption of this plant can even lead to muscle tremors and seizures.

3. Lambert Crazyweed (Oxytropis lambertii)

Lamberts crazyweed Oxytropis lambertii
Andrey Zharkikh Lamberts crazyweed (Oxytropis lambertii)

Lambert’s crazyweed, which is also known as purple Locoweed, is a gorgeous flower plant found in Nebraska. You can mainly find it in the foothills of mountains. However, it should be noted that this plant is quite dangerous and should not be planted within or around homes. These plants can be poisonous at all times of the year, including when they are dried. Once consumed, they can impair your body’s cells. If a lactating female animal has consumed the plant, then the poisonous effects would also be passed down to the children through the milk.

4. Nebraska Lupine (Lupinus plattensis)

This gorgeous wildflower can be a great addition to your landscaping. Since it thrives in dry soils, the Nebraska lupine is grown throughout the State. While they can be a great addition to your garden, it should be noted that animals should stay away from this plant because it can be poisonous to them. The Nebraska Lupine is particularly poisonous to cattle. If ingested by humans, they may also cause some discomfort, although it will not be fatal.

5. Nightshade (Solanaceae)

Marty Bower Nightshade

This is one of the most poisonous plants you can find throughout the State. All of the species in the nightshade family are toxic and dangerous. Most of these are actually food plants, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and chili plants. One of the most toxic the nightshade plant is actually tobacco. Humans and animals should stay away from this plant because it carries toxic and dangerous substances. Humans can suffer from innumerable side effects, some of being potentially life-threatening.

6. Poison Hemlock (conium maculatum)

Poison Hemlock
Jump Poison Hemlock

Another widely known poisonous plant in Nebraska is the Poison Hemlock. It is extremely dangerous and often even life-threatening if ingested by humans and animals. For example, accidental ingestion may have a detrimental impact on the central nervous system. It could also lead to acute renal failure and respiratory failure. If ingested, you must immediately take the person or animal to the hospital or vet.

7. Riddell Groundsel (senecio riddellii)

These plants that have bright green leaves and yellow flowers can be pretty dangerous because they can poison cattle, horses, and sheep. In fact, all species of this plant can be poisonous to all types of cattle. Lactating or pregnant animals can also transfer the poisonous effects to their offspring, making this plant even more dangerous.

8. Arrowgrass (Triglochin Maritima)

Triglochin maritima
Joshua Mayer Triglochin maritima

This perennial plant grows in wet areas and meadows throughout Nebraska. Since they look similar to hay, people may cut them out for feeding livestock. However, this can be poisonous to them. Not all forms of Arrowgrass cause poisoning; only the ones with stunted growth tend to be poisonous. Cattle and sheep can be severely affected by this plant, which can be life-threatening to them. It can also lead to other side effects like diarrhea, increased salivation, convulsions, and coma.

9. Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix)

This is a small tree or wooden shrub grown in swampy and wet parts of Nebraska. The plant is considered to be toxic and dangerous because it is more allergen than poison ivy. Hence, consumption or contact with the poison sumac can lead to itching, discomfort, and inflammation that persist for days. The poison sumac can be identified through its low height, bright green or orange leaves, small yellow-green flowers, and sometimes, whitish waxy droops that drop loosely from its stalks.

10. Prairie Larkspur (Delphinium carolinianum)

Prairie Larkspur
Aaron Carlson Prairie Larkspur

This is a beautiful, slender, and upright perennial that is found in various parts of the State. It typically features pale blue or white flowers, spurred flowers, and basal leaves. No part of the prairie Larkspur should be consumed because it is pretty dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Consumption of this plant can prove to be fatal to both animals and humans. However, the severity of the side effects of consumption varies depending on the animal’s age or individual. It also depends on the age of the plant itself and the part of the plant that was consumed.

11. Two Grooved Poison Vetch (astragalus Bisulcatus)

Astragalus bisulcatus
Matt Lavin Astragalus bisulcatus

The Two Grooved Poison Vetch is a native plant found in parts of Nebraska. The plant is a leafy perennial with pea-like flowers. It is pretty dangerous since it is acutely toxic because consumption can lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, and prostration. Larger and older species of this plant may be more dangerous since they can cause chronic toxicity.

12. Woolly Locoweed (astragalus mollissimus)

Woolly Locoweed Astragalus mollissimus
Petrified ForestNPS Woolly Locoweed (Astragalus mollissimus)

This is a perennial plant from the legume family. It originated in Colorado but can also be found on drylands in Nebraska. The Wooly Locoweed is particularly dangerous for livestock and cattle. Consumption of this plant can make these animals go ‘loco,’ which can also be fatal for them. However, this is only true for a select species of this plant. Others might not be this toxic.

13. Wisteria (Wisteria)

Wisteria is a poisonous plant, although the poisonous effects may vary. Severe poisoning is not common, but exposure to a few seeds can actually lead to detrimental results. For example, side effects of consumption of the Wisteria include diarrhea, oral burning, vomiting, and stomach pain. Other symptoms also include dizziness and confusion. However, the effects of this plant will last for only two days and are not fatal.

14. Daffodil (narcissus)

Charanjit Chana Daffodils

These are some of the most common plants that people love to grow in Nebraska. Daffodils feature a beautiful and strong scented flower with yellow or white petals. However, it should be noted that this entire plant is poisonous. Not just that, but the plant is particularly toxic for animals like cats and dogs. Ingestion of the daffodil plant may lead to extreme diarrhea and vomiting, especially if you consume the bulb. The sap of the plant may cause eye irritation. If your cat has consumed this plant, take them to the vet immediately.

15. Philodendron (philodendron)

The Philodendron is an ornamental plant that thrives in dry soils such as that of Nebraska. It is typically a pot plant that people like to keep indoors. However, it should be noted that this plant is quite dangerous. If chewed or eaten, all plant parts can cause a burning sensation and swelling of the lips, mouth, and tongue. Not just that, but consumption of this plant can also yield painful results and lead to difficulty in breathing. Severe swelling caused by this plant can also be fatal.

16. Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Yay Oleander

This is yet another common ornamental plant or flowering shrub found in parts of the State. However, this plant is highly toxic because ingestion of even one leaf of this plant can be life-threatening. Consumption of the oleander plant can lead to difficulty breathing, slow heart rate, diarrhea, blurred vision, weakness, and even fainting. In many cases, it can also lead to death.

17. Lily of the Valley (convallaria majalis)

Lily of the valley
Yay Lily of the valley

The Lily of the Valley is a very popular garden plant grown in houses in Nebraska. The flowering plant with a sweet and distinctive scent features long and slender green leaves with drooping white flowers. All parts of this plant are highly poisonous to humans and animals alike. They can lead to vomiting and diarrhea, and other side effects if ingested. In some cases, they can also be quite poisonous.

18. Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)

Euphorbia esula leafy spurge
USDA NRCS Ortwin Bourquinn Euphorbia esula (Leafy spurge)

The Leafy Spurge is a toxic plant and perennial that can be poisonous to humans and animals. The white, latex and smooth surface of the flowers on this plant can lead to skin irritation if it comes into contact with the skin. It can even cause human blindness or blurred vision.

19. Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium)

Lepidium latifolium
Matt Lavin Lepidium latifolium

The Perennial Pepperweed is a dangerous and non-native plant found in parts of Nebraska that grows along rivers and lakes. Since it looks similar to hay, many cattle and livestock may consume it. However, this plant has been known to cause poisoning in horses. Other wildlife habitats have been known to diminish in areas where this plant is grown, which means that it is toxic for most animals.