When it comes to your health and the health of your family and your pets, you tend to think of the obvious dangers that you need to stay away from. What most people don’t realize is that there could be harmful items located right in your backyard.
There are many plants that are dangerous to humans and/or animals, and it’s possible that you have some of the following dangerous plants lurking in your backyard.
Yes, it’s true that rhubarb is used as a food in many tasty desserts, but only the stem of the plant is safe. The leaves of rhubarb are actually very poisonous, and if you consume them, whether cooked or uncooked, you could experience burning of the throat or mouth. After the burning is over, you could experience internal bleeding, convulsions, coma or even death. If you want to grow rhubarb, it’s best done in an area that is safe from pets or other animals.
Oleander is a very beautiful flower that looks and smells great, and it’s one of the most popular choices when it comes to gardens and flower beds. However, Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants, especially when it comes to children. What makes Oleander so dangerous is that it’s not just poisonous to consume, but it’s also poisonous to the touch. Symptoms of poison from an Oleander plant include vomiting and diarrhea, cramping, seizures, coma and death.
Hydrangeas are another popular plant when it comes to yard décor. They can grow to be very tall, and they are available in an assortment of colors. If you were to consume a hydrangea, you would experience massive stomach pain, sweating, itchy skin and even vomiting. In most cases, vomiting is the worst of the symptoms, but some cases of coma have been reported from hydrangea consumption.
Many people plant chrysanthemums (or mums) in their yards or near their gardens because they’re known to keep rabbits away. But chrysanthemums are also poisonous to humans. Touching the head of a chrysanthemum could make you experience red and itchy skin along with some minor swelling. Although that’s the worst that will happen, it can still be a nuisance.
Rhododendrons are popular flowers to decorate a lawn due to their bell-like shape, but rhododendron leaves and the honey nectar they produce are very toxic. If you were to eat either the leaves or the honey, you could experience a burning mouth, vomiting, diarrhea or a tingling feeling in your body. Some people have also experienced convulsions and fallen into a coma, and others have experienced a slower heartbeat and difficulty breathing.
Even though most adults know not to consume a flower, young children and animals are often curious and put things into their mouth. It’s very important that you know which plants in your yard are poisonous and keep them out of the reach of children and animals in order to keep them safe.
Jessica Crouch is a landscape expert and avid gardener who loves writing about common plants and ways to deal with herbal pests.