Plants

Plants

Green leaves

The Ontario Poison Centre receives many calls about children who have eaten or touched a plant that may be poisonous. Plants and berries are attractive to young children who like to put things in their mouths. Make sure you know the names of plants that grow inside and outside of your home. To help you keep your children safe follow our plant safety information.

When you call the Ontario Poison Centre about a potential plant poisoning, be prepared to give the following information:

  • Any symptoms of illness your child displays.
  • The name of the plant, if you know it. The Specialists in Poison Information at the Centre cannot identify plants over the phone.
  • How much and what parts of the plant were eaten or touched.
  • How recently the child ate or touched the plant.

Prevent Plant Poisonings

  • Know the names of all the plants and trees inside and outside your home.
  • Leave the name tags on your household plants. If you don’t know the names, an expert from a plant nursery may be able to help identify the plant for you.
  • Keep all plants, berries, seeds, and bulbs out of reach of young children.
  • Teach your child to ask before they put anything in their mouth.
  • Do not assume that a plant is safe for people just because birds and wildlife eat it.
  • Do not suck nectar from flowers or make tea from flowers or leaves.
  • Keep cactus plants away from young children. They can cause skin irritations.

Be Aware!

All plants are choking hazards, including non-toxic plants. If a child has swallowed a piece of a leaf, make sure that they are not coughing, choking or having difficulty breathing. Also, be aware that jewelry, crafts and maracas purchased outside of Canada may contain poisonous seeds. It is important for you to know what types of plants are growing inside and outside your home. Speak with someone at your local garden centre to help you identify plants that you do not know.


Poisonous Plants

Purple flower

Some of these plants will not cause serious poisoning unless a large amount is eaten. Remember, a young child may choke on any plant. This is not a complete list of all poisonous plants.
If any of these plants are eaten, call the Ontario Poison Centre right away:

Amaryllis
Angel's Trumpet
Arrowhead vine
Autumn Crocus
Azalea
Bittersweet
Black Locust
Boston Ivy
Caladium
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Chinese Lantern Plant
Clematis
Cotoneaster
Croton
Cyclamen
Daffodil
Daisy (Chrysanthemum)
Delphinium
Dieffenbachia
Elephant's Ear
 

English Ivy
Eucalyptus
Euonymus
Foxglove
Gladiola
Holly
Horse Chestnut
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Iris
Jack-in-the-Pulpit
Jequirity Bean
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson Weed
Larkspur
Lily-of-the-Valley
Lobelia
Lupine
Marijuana
Milkweed
Mistletoe
 

Morning Glory
Mother-in-law's Tongue
Narcissus
Nightshade
Oleander
Potato (all green parts)
Pothos
Rhododendron
Rhubarb Leaves
Rosary Bean
Snake Berry
Snow on the Mountain
Star of Bethlehem
St. John's Wort
Tobacco
Tomato Plant (unripe)
Virginia Creeper
Water Hemlock
Wisteria
Yew
 

Seeds or pits of the following are poisonous:
Apple, apricot, cherry, crab-apple, nectarine, and peach.

Nontoxic Plants

Flowers

A person is not likely to get ill from these plants, but certain people may have an unusual reaction.  Remember that a young child may choke on any plant. Although the following plants are not poisonous to humans, some of these plants may be harmful to pets. Call your veterinarian for more information. The following is not a complete list of all non poisonous plants.

African Violet
Alyssum
Asparagus Fern
Astilbe
Baby's Breath *
Baby's Tears
Bachelors Buttons
Black-eyed Susan *
Boston Fern
Chinese Evergreen
Christmas Cactus
Coleus *
Coral Bells
Cosmos
Crocus (spring only)
Dahlia *
Dandelion
Daylily *
Dracaena
Easter Lily
Evening Primrose

Ficus Benjamina *
Freesia
Fuchsia
Gardenia *
Gloxinia
Grape Hyacinth
Hens and Chicks
Hibiscus *
Hollyhock
Honey Locust
Hoya
Impatiens
Jade Plant
Maple
Marigold *
Money Plant
Mountain Ash
Mulberry
Peperomia
Persian Violet
Petunia

Phlox
Poinsettia **
Polka-dot Plant
Portulaca
Prayer Plant
Primrose *
Purple Coneflower
Rose *
Rubber Plant *
Schefflera *
Snapdragon
Spider Plant
Spiraea
Statice *
Tulip *
Wandering Jew *
Weeping Fig *
Weigela
Yucca
Zinnia

* These plants may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions
**This plant may cause skin irritation, and mild nausea or vomiting