5 Common But Dangerous Plants That You Could Have In Your Yard

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.

1. Rhubarb

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.

2. Oleander

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.

3. Hydrangea

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.

4. Chrysanthemum

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.

5. Rhododendron

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.






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Did you know the Sago Palm is toxic to pets?

676138.jpg I just received a new edition of my ASPCA newsletter and one article in particular caught my eye. It was about the increased incidence of pets being poisoned by the Sago Palm. This plant can also be quite toxic to young children.

The Sago Palm is common in warm climates, but it’s become more popular in Northern homes as a houseplant. The plant is native to Southern Japan. It’s an attractive plant with dark green leaves and a hairy trunk.

Since 2003, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center has seen an increase in cases of Sago palm and Cycad poisonings by more than 200 percent. APCC data also reveals that 50 percent to 75 percent of those cases resulted in fatalities.

sago-palm.jpg A chemical in the plant called cycasin is toxic and often causes permanent liver damage as well as neurological damage if enough of the poison is absorbed by the body. The seeds are the most poisonous part of the plant, although all parts of this plant are toxic, and the effects on humans are seizures, coma and death. Of course the seeds are an attractive reddish color so children and possible curious pets might be drawn to the plant.

Clinical signs of toxic poisoning are vomiting, melena (blood in stool), Jaundice, increased thirst, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, bruising and later liver damage, liver failure and death.

If you have young children or pets in your home and you’d like to check to see if your house or garden plants are toxic you can take a look at this list of Toxic Plants. There’s also a list of non-toxic plants that you might also want to look at if you are planning on adding more plants to your collection.

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Growing Monkshood

It’s amazing how many plants are coming up in my garden. Every time I either look outside or go outside to look at the garden I notice how much the plants have grown or new green shoots coming up in areas that were barren the day before.

The monkshood is already making an appearance:

monkshoodshoots

This is Monkshood Aconitum Arendsii Azure Blue.

The new leaves are coming up amid the old stalks that I still have to remove! Usually I tidy up the garden beds in the fall, but I didn’t really do that last year. Even when I clean up the garden in the autumn I’ll often still leave a few plant stalks or a leaf or two so that come spring I can remember where the plant is planted.

I do have plant markers in the garden, but most have been there for four or five years now and they are barely legible or they’ve snapped in the cold so there’s only half of the plants name.

I grow another kind of Monkshood at the back of the garden near the holly shrub. It’s a bicolor Monkshood and I’ve forgotten it’s full name.

Now I know I have several photos of the Azure Blue Monkshood but I can’t find any of them right now. Odd. I do have a photo of the BiColor Monkshood as it’s beginning to bloom though.

Monkshood Aconitum

The bicolor Monkshood usually blooms twice a season. Often once in July and then in Mid to Late September. The Azure Blue only blooms once in late August through into September.

Monkshood is very easy to grow, but you must remember that it’s a poisonous plant. I’m a little nervous about growing it now that we have a Labrador Retriever puppy, but I don’t think she’ll be allowed in the backyard very often and certainly not unsupervised.

Monkshood can be grown in shade or bright sunlight. It does best with at least 6 hours of bright sunlight each day. Depending on the species it grow from 30 inches to approx. 36 inches in height.

This plant does best in rich, moist, humusy soil. It doesn’t like being disturbed once it’s established but it can be propagated through division.

There are several species and hybrids of Monkshood. Some will rebloom if the flowers are removed shortly after they’ve finished blooming as with my bicolor monkshood and others are of the fall blooming variety.

Monkshood is a beautiful plant that adds a lovely touch of color to the garden bed. Even it’s foliage is attractive. Just remember that all parts of the plant are poisonous!

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