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Poisonous plants are not only found in the wild, but more often in your own garden than many people think. Plants that are poisonous exert a special fascination on gardeners, walkers and plant lovers with their colours, the decoration of their flowers, their growth form or their smell. However, there are more plants whose contact can even be fatal. For this reason, it is important to know which plants in the garden are poisonous and what measures are important in the event of poisoning.
60 poisonous plants for the garden
Many plants are poisonous. Classics such as foxglove and laburnum are well known, but what about tulips or the popular thuja? Numerous plants are poisonous to humans in particular and, depending on their toxicity, can lead to death within a short time. Because especially children and sensitive people are at the mercy of the toxins. Nevertheless, poisonous plants in the garden provide that certain something. The list below gives you an overview of 60 poisonous plants that are poisonous to humans. You can even encounter many of these in the wild:
Plants from A - D
1. bracken (bot. Pteridium aquilinum): The bracken hides its toxicity behind its well-behaved appearance. However, long-term consumption of the plant can lead to cancer.
2. Adonis (bot. Adonis vernalis): The Adonis rose is an attractive flower whose steroid glycosides lead to cardiac arrhythmias and gastrointestinal problems.
3. cyclamen (bot. Cyclamen): Yes, cyclamen is also one of them and causes numerous symptoms of poisoning due to the cyclamine it contains. This is found in the greatest amount in the roots and tuber. Possible consequences of consumption are diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, cramps and signs of paralysis.
4. arum (bot. Arum): Because of their appearance, arums are welcome guests in your own garden. However, the plants should never be eaten or touched without gloves, as the oxalate crystals they contain irritate the skin and gastrointestinal tract intensely.
5. broom (bot. Cytisus scoparius): Yellow flowers tempt children in particular to play with the broom. However, this can lead to restlessness, cold sweats and paralysis.
6. Wisteria (bot. Wisteria): Wisteria are just as exhilarating as Laburnum and also poisonous. Circulatory problems and stomach problems are typical complaints.
7. Christmas rose (bot. Helleborus niger): Known as snow rose or Christmas rose, the toxicity of this plant is weak. Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting occur if large quantities of plant parts are consumed.
8. Dieffenbachia (bot. Dieffenbachia): Dieffenbachia contain calcium oxalate crystals that attack the skin and the digestive tract. Gloves are among the best countermeasures against these.
Plants from E - F
9. yew (bot. Taxus baccata): Yews can reach heights of growth of up to ten meters and are among the plants whose toxicity is not found in the conspicuous berries. These are not actually berries, but seed coats that enclose the extremely poisonous seeds. In addition to the needles, these are poisonous and, depending on the amount consumed, can cause severe cardiac arrhythmia, which must not be ignored.
10. Einberry (bot. Paris quadrifolia): The herb is a Germer plant that produces dark blue fruits. These attack the nervous system and kidneys, which inevitably leads to death.
11. aconite (bot. Aconitum napellus): monkshood is one of the classic poisonous plants in Germany. Because the buttercup plant can already be dangerous on contact and life-threatening if parts are swallowed.Monkshood, Aconitum napellus
12. angel trumpets (bot. Brugmansia): Brugmansia is a nasty plant, causing happiness and hallucinations due to its noxious fumes. Then respiratory paralysis follows and death occurs.
13. buckthorn (bot. Frangula alnus): The alder buckthorn is mainly in the unripe fruits, the bark and the leaves, which can cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
14. thimble (bot. Digitalis): The foxglove is similar in name to monkshood, but is not as poisonous. Because it causes unpleasant gastrointestinal problems and cardiac arrhythmia due to the digitoxin it contains.
Plants with G
15. kidney bean (bot. Phaseolus vulgaris): Kidney beans are poisonous. But only if parts of the plant are eaten raw, because the lectins they contain lead to cramps and shocks.
16. Spotted hemlock (bot. Conium maculatum): It was used as a means of execution by poison. Even a small amount of the unripe fruit, which contains coniin, leads to death after a short time.
17. Common Ivy (bot. Hedera helix): It is more poisonous than you think. The saponins react on the skin and stomach.
18. Common crushed nut (bot. Strychnos nux-vomica): Consumption is not recommended. The contained alkaloids affect the central nervous system with muscle spasms, respiratory paralysis and even death if you don't act quickly enough.
19. Common boxwood (bot. Buxus sempervirens): It looks harmless, but it is not. Depending on the amount of plant parts consumed, the state of health and the age of the person, either only vomiting or even death occurs.
20. Common honeysuckle (bot. Lonicera xylosteum): Honeysuckles look very similar to edible cherries, only slightly lighter. After consumption, vomiting and stomach problems occur.
21. Common privet (bot. Ligustrum vulgare): Even touching is enough for sensitive people to cause skin irritation. While consumption causes stomach and circulatory problems.
22. Ordinary Snowberry (bot. Symphoricarpos albus): Snowberries are popular plants whose flowers contain toxic saponins. When consumed, these lead to nausea, headache, fever and persistent drowsiness.
23. poison berry (bot. Nicandra physaloides): Your name sounds like trouble. However, the pretty flowers only affect the digestive tract.
24. gold lacquer (bot. Erysimum cheiri): The beautiful flowers inspire with their warm colors, but the cardenoliden contained in them irritate the skin and lead to cardiac arrhythmia after consumption.
25. laburnum (bot. Laburnum): With beautiful inflorescences that hang down golden yellow, it magically attracts people. They can be touched, but hands should be washed afterwards as toxins enter the body through the skin and cause tremors and convulsions.
Plants with H
26. buttercup (bot. Ranunculus sceleratus): The buttercup is quite aggressive and due to the ingredient protoanemonin immediately causes blistering and digestive tract problems.
27. dogwood (bot. Cornus alba): The dogwood is another poisonous plant that only causes mild stomach problems after consumption.
28. autumn crocus (bot. Colchicum autumnale): Autumn crocuses are known for their toxic effects, which can result from eating and even coming into contact with the tuber. If parts of the plant have been eaten, after a few hours severe stomach problems and progressive respiratory paralysis will occur, leading to death. Fast action is required here.
29. elder (bot. Sambucus): Elderberry is mainly poisonous in the bark and marrow, which cause nausea. The fruit should be cooked before use.
30. hydrangeas (bot. Hydrangea): As beautiful as hydrangeas are, the plants should be treated with caution. They can lead to anxiety and dizziness, as well as intoxication.
31. dog parsley (bot. Aethusa cynapium): Fool's parsley is rarely grown in the garden and even in small amounts causes severe respiratory paralysis and death.
32. hyacinth (bot. Hyacinthus): The bulbs of the popular hyacinths contain oxalic acid, which can permanently lead to kidney stones and, after consumption, to nausea.
Plants from K - L
33. imperial crown (bot. Fritillaria imperialis): Despite the striking flowers, the toxic effects of the plants remain relatively low and are limited to skin irritation and stomach problems. Most of the poison is in the extremely large onion.
34. Pokeweed (bot. Phytolacca): Pokeweed does not come from Europe, but is found as a neophyte that is increasingly being grown in your own garden. All parts of the plant are poisonous and children in particular can die from eating the berries.
35. buckthorn (bot. Rhamnus cathartica): Anthracene offshoots are found in buckthorn, which only rarely lead to problems with the digestive tract, especially in children.Buckthorn, Rhamnus catharticus
36. crocuses (bot. Crocus): Crocuses are also among the poisonous heralds of spring, the tuber of which contains large amounts of steroid saponins. Children in particular suffer from these and dizziness, delirium, convulsions and loss of consciousness can occur
37. lantern flower (bot. Physalis alkekengi): Caution! Do not confuse this plant with the Cape gooseberry (bot. Physalis peruviana), which is cultivated for its fruit. The lantern flower is a poisonous plant whose unripe fruits and plant parts should not be eaten.
38. trees of life (bot. Thuja): Trees of life are often used as hedge plants, but all parts of the plant are poisonous. Diarrhea, vomiting, signs of paralysis are just a few of the symptoms, until death occurs in large quantities.
39. bay cherry (bot. Prunus laurocerasus): Laurel cherries are slightly poisonous and mainly attack the stomach. But you would have to chew and swallow a large amount of the fruit thoroughly.
Plants from M - P
40. lily of the valley (bot. Convallaria majalis): The lily of the valley is one of the most well-known springtime poisonous plants in Germany. All parts of the plant are poisonous and lead to stomach problems and cardiac arrhythmia, which makes a doctor's visit necessary.
41. mistletoe (bot. Viscum album): Mistletoe contains toxic proteins that lead to sweating and gastrointestinal problems after consumption.
42. nightshade (bot. Solanum dulcamara): You should never eat the berries, especially unripe ones. These contain alkaloids and thus greatly disrupt digestion.
43. daffodils (bot. Narcissus): Be careful when planting daffodils. Because the popular spring flowers are a real poison bomb and can lead to death in large quantities. Stomach complaints, vomiting, tiredness and symptoms of paralysis are then the signs of poisoning.
44. oleander (bot. Nerium oleander): Oleander should not be underestimated either. The dogbane plant has oleandrin, which inevitably leads to death in higher quantities. It is toxic in all parts and can even cause skin irritation.
45. Ongaonga (bot. Urtica ferox): Urtica ferox is a veritable cocktail of poison. Formic acid, histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine are just a few of the ingredients that cause extremely unpleasant skin irritation with blistering and itching. Anyone who has had contact with the plant over a long period of time should definitely see a doctor, as the poisonous cocktail can lead to death even without consumption.
46. euonymus (bot. Euonymus europaea): The euonymus, whose flowers are reminiscent of a clergyman's hat, is also popular with many people and children. The bark, leaves and seeds in particular contain large amounts of alkaloids, which can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and severe gastrointestinal problems after consumption. Therefore, a good fluid intake is important here.
Planting from R - S
47. Rhododendrons (bot. Rhododendrons): Rhododendrons are popular ornamental plants, but they are peppered with toxic diterpenes. These can weaken the heartbeat to the point of shock, respiratory paralysis and even death.
48. Giant Bear Claw (bot. Heracleum mantegazzianum): As the name suggests, the giant hogweed is an extremely stately plant that is no less poisonous. The plant contains hyoscyamine, which increases depending on the intensity of the sun's rays. The plant irritates the skin when touched and can even cause second-degree burns.
49. Delphiniums (bot. Delphinium): The popular delphiniums are slightly poisonous and upset the stomach when eaten.
50. castor bean (bot. Ricinus communis): The poisonous plant of the year 2022, the miracle tree, is one of the deadliest plants in the garden. Because even a very small amount of consumed seeds can lead to death within 48 hours.
51. crown of glory (bot. Gloriosa superba): The crown of glory is particularly popular with children because of the shape of its flowers. It can lead to nausea and severe respiratory paralysis.
52. Black Henbane (bot. Hyoscyamus niger): One of the most poisonous plants in Germany, even small amounts of swallowed flowers can lead to death. In any case, the emergency number must be contacted.
53. iris (bot. Iris): Irises also belong to the poisonous plants. The diterpenes cause stomach problems and diarrhea.
54. daphne (bot. Daphne mezereum): Due to the picturesque flowers, daphne is very dangerous and can cause seizures in children. Adults are also not immune to the plant, and skin contact often causes severe blistering.
55. Datura (bot. Datura): Datura is also not to be trifled with. Numerous symptoms are triggered simply by contact with the nightshade plant.
Planting from T - Z
56. deadly nightshade (bot. Atropa belladonna): Yes, deadly nightshade. Known and feared. The plant with the black fruits, which tempt you to snack because of their sweet aroma, can cause all sorts of symptoms, including reddening of the skin, restlessness and even hallucinations. It has been known for centuries and should be kept away from children as they like to eat the berries.
57. tulips (bot. Tulipa): Even tulips are poisonous in all parts of the plant and should therefore be consumed with caution. Because it can lead to cramps and dizziness.
58. rowanberry (bot. Sorbus aucuparia): rowan berries are only poisonous if they are eaten uncooked. For this reason, always cook beforehand.
59. water hemlock (bot. Cicuta virosa): The contained cicutoxin acts exclusively on humans. Half an hour after consumption, for example, vomiting, diarrhea or cramps occur, followed by respiratory paralysis.
60. Cypress Spurge (bot. Euphorbia cyparissias): The milky sap of the cypress spurge contains terpene compounds that cause severe irritation and even long-lasting effects on contact with mucous membranes.Cypress Spurge, Euphorbia cyparissias
notice: Please note that this article is by no means a substitute for a doctor's visit. There is no guarantee of the correctness of medical statements.
First aid for poisoning
If you or your family came into contact with one of these plants or even consumed parts of them, you should definitely take action. With poisonous plants of any kind, it is important to act quickly and carefully. Because first aid requires calm action. Once you panic, it can get worse. Therefore stand Quiet and speed are paramount. The following guide will help you to provide first aid effectively:
Even the slightest discomfort should either the next Poison Control Center or contact a doctor. If the symptoms appear externally, a dermatologist can be contacted as an alternative. If the symptoms already lead to dangerous situations such as shortness of breath or a circulatory collapse, be sure to contact the emergency services. Therefore, you will find a list of the associated poison control centers at the end of this article.
During the emergency call, you should answer the five important W-questions as precisely as possible:
- who is poisoned? For example a child, senior or adult
- What caused the poisoning? For example, is a lily of the valley or a crushed nut responsible
- When did the poisoning take place?
- As did the poisoning happen? For example, externally or through consumption
- How much of the poisonous plants was eaten or touched?
In this way you provide the emergency call center, doctor and poison control center with all the necessary information regarding the symptoms of poisoning, the type of plants and whether there is any need to rush.
only drink water
It is best to give plain water while you wait to keep the poisoned person hydrated.
Never make the poisoned person vomit. Because that can make the situation worse.
Before you go to the doctor, you should definitely take a sample of the plant with you. It is best to cut off a piece so that the doctor can examine it.Be sure to wear gloves when dealing with plants that produce a milky sap, for example, or could otherwise irritate the skin. So you don't injure yourself further.
tip: The German poison information centers can be reached 24 hours a day. If there is an acute emergency, you must report this so that you can also contact the emergency number overnight.
List of Poison Control Centers
Charite Poison Control Center / Poison Control Center Berlin
0 30-19 24 0
Information center against poisoning in North Rhine-Westphalia / poison center in Bonn
Center for Pediatrics at the University Hospital in Bonn
02 28-19 24 0 and 0228 - 28 73 333
Joint poison information center (GGIZ Erfurt) of the states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia in Erfurt
03 61-73 07 30
Poison Information Center Freiburg (VIZ)
university hospital Freiburg
07 61-19 24 0
Poison information center north of the states of Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein (GIZ-Nord)
05 51-19 24 0
Information and treatment center for poisoning,
Saarland University Hospital and Medical Faculty of Saarland University
0 68 41-19 240 and 06841 - 16 83 15
Poison Information Center (GIZ) of the states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Hesse
Clinical Toxicology, University Medicine Mainz
0 61 31-19 240 and 06131 - 23 24 67
Munich Poison Control Center - Department of Clinical Toxicology, Klinikum Rechts der Isar - Technical University of Munich
0 89-19 24 0
Poison Information Centers in Austria and Switzerland
Poison Information Center (VIZ) - Gesundheit Austria GmbH
+43-1-4 06 43 43
Swiss Toxicological Information Center
+41-44-251 51 51 (from abroad)