Every gardener loves the sight of beautiful, blooming plants in the yard. Whether it be in your own garden beds or a greenhouse, there are few things more satisfying than a well-kept garden. Despite this, not all good-looking herbs cause no harm.
Our garden experts have named some of the most common plants lurking in the backyard that can be poisonous to humans and pets. Some of them even flourish colourful bulbs when mature, but be careful not to get deceived.
9 Poisonous Plants That Can Be Found in UK Gardens
This list of common poisonous plants that call some British yards home can be very dangerous. For example, animals who get lured to eat some colourful hydrangeas can experience vomiting, diarrhoea, and convulsions.
To humans, garden favourites like Lilies of the Valley and Wisterias can cause nasty rashes as well as vomiting when ingested. Among the sinister-sounding names are the Deadly Nightshade and Hemlock that can lead to the worst consequences — convulsion, hallucination, and even death.
Though most of these plants do not need to be eliminated, you need to have the proper knowledge in order to deal with them better.
1. Lily of the Valley
Small doesn’t mean less, at least in terms of the lily of the valley’s toxicity. It is because, despite the size, every part of this plant is potentially poisonous. Having them in your yard with kids and pets around will not be a good idea.
The toxic compounds in Lily of the Valley are called cardiac glycosides — they can make you feel dizzy, cause vomiting and leave you covered in rashes.
However, if you want to rid your pets from the dangers around your yard — including toxic plants — you need to apply a few tips to create a pet-friendly garden.
Stalks of Rhubarbs make an excellent crumble recipe, but you should beware of the plant’s leaves. They contain high levels of oxalic acid, so when enough of the leaves are consumed, they can quickly cause kidney failure in humans.
Though Wisterias rarely harm humans, its seed pods are toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. It can cause mild to severe digestive upset among them. So if you have pet pooches or felines at home, make sure to rid your home of these purple flowers.
Daffodils can add elegance to the garden, but if you have a dog who loves digging, you should keep it away from this flowering plant. Once eaten, dogs can experience vomiting, convulsion, and diarrhoea.
Surprisingly, this beautiful plant contains poisonous cyanide. And though it’s far from fatal, it can cause stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea to humans and pets.
However, the most severe cases lead to laboured breathing, convulsions, and potentially even a coma.
6. Deadly Nightshade
Found mostly in central, eastern, and southern parts of the UK, the Deadly Nightshade can cause dilated pupils, loss of balance, and skin rashes. These symptoms can even lead to convulsions and hallucinations.
7. English Yew
Almost the entire English Yew plant is poisonous, but you need to take extra caution on its leaves and seeds. When ingested, they can leave you with a dry mouth, feeling dizzy, and with dilated pupils.
Commonly found in ditches and on riverbanks, every part of the poisonous Hemlock — seeds, flowers, leaves, or fruits — contain toxic alkaloids that can be fatal even in small amounts. It can affect nerve impulse transmission to the muscles, paralysing a person’s lungs which undoubtedly leads to death.
In some cases, just getting in contact with Hemlock can cause skin reactions.
From its nectar, this beautiful plant makes bees produce ‘mad honey,’ called as such for its hallucinogenic effect. During the Roman period, troops were made to consume the honey to poison them.
Eating a Rhododendron’s leaf, nectar, or flower can lead to toxicity as well. And although rare, severe cases lead to life-threatening conditions, especially when intentionally eaten.