poisonous plants

Poisonous Plants


Toxic   part


Apple, Malus domestica


The   seeds from the apple are very poisonous. They contain  ARSENIC

Apple of peru, Nicandra physalodes

Seeds   especially

Same   family as deadly nightshade

Arum lily, Zantedeschia aethiopica  

All   parts especially berries

Burning   in the mouth and throat, stomach pain and vomiting. Rapid onset of symptoms

Asparagus, Asparagus officinalis


Mildly   poisonous

Aubergine, Solanum   melongena


In the   same family as deadly nightshade, the fruit of this plant must never be eaten   raw. Leads to vomiting and convulsions.

Autumn Crocus/ Star of Bethlehem,

Colchicum autumnale


Initial   gastrointestinal symptoms during the first 24 hours are followed by more   severe effects including convulsions, cardiovascular collapse, multi-organ   failure and blood clots forming in many places around the body. Muscular   weakness and ascending paralysis cause respiratory arrest. The effects have   been described as very similar to cholera leading to a slow, agonising death   but consciousness remains to the end. Ingestion of the plant in mistake for   wild garlic has caused deaths.

Azaleas, genus Rhododendron

All   parts

Fatal.   Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration   and coma.

Beans, genus Leguminosae

Raw   beans

These   vegetables should not be eaten RAW, Severe indigestion, Always cook your   beans, Certain types can be fatal

Beech, Fagus







This tree can grow up to 40 Metres (130ft) high.   There are several varieties including Copper Beech. The leaves are light   green in Spring, maturing to a darker shade in late Summer. In Autumn dark   brown scaly husks fall to the ground, they contain triangular seeds known as   Beech nuts. If only a few seeds or nuts have been eaten soreness of the mouth   and throat may occur,  but larger quantities such as fifty or more   vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, dizziness and even fainting have been   reported. The symptoms usually appear about an hour or two after eating and   may continue for several hours.

Belladonna/ Deadly Nightshade, Atropa bella-donna

All   parts, especially the unripened berry

Fatal.   Intense digestive disturbance and nervous symptoms. The berries are   extremely poisonous. Even after eating one or two they can cause breathing   difficulties, convulsions, hallucinations and coma. Without medical treatment   they can cause death. The sap of the plant can cause a blister type rash.

Bitter sweet/ woody nightshade,   Solanum dulcamara

Purple   flowers and red berries

Leads   to vomiting and convulsions. The strength of its actions is said to be very   dependent on the soil in which it grows with light, dry soils increasing its   effects.

Black henbane/ hog bean, Hyoscyamus niager


So   poisonous that even smelling it can cause giddiness. Causes dry mouth,   thirst, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, warm flushed skin, dilated   pupils, blurred vision and photophobia, vomiting, urinary retention,   tachycardia, pyrexia, drowsiness, slurred speech, hyperreflexia, auditory,   visual or tactile hallucinations, confusion and disorientation, delirium,   agitation and combative behaviour. In severe cases there may be hypertension,   coma and convulsions.

Black Nightshade, Solanum nigrum

Berries   especially when still  green

Leads   to vomiting and convulsions. The strength of its actions depends on the   ripeness of the berry – less poisonous when black.

Bluebell/   Wild Hyacinth, Hyacinthoides   non-scripta

The   bulbs and seeds are poisonous and can often be mistaken by children as small   onions.

Diarrhoea,   stomach pains. The sap from bluebells and related plants such as hyacinths   can cause skin allergies.

Bracken Fern, genus Pteridium


Carcinogenic if ingested. Causes internal bleeding   and white blood cell anaemia.

Broom, Cytisus   scoparius

Seeds,   pods

Seed   pods look like peas

About   30 seeds, 6 seed pods can be fatal

If   eaten in large quantities can affect the heart and nervous system.

Angel’s trumpet, genus   Brugmansia


Very   sweet smelling plant

Ingestion   of a little sap can cause throat to swell

Difficulty   in swallowing

Bryony, Bryonia   alba


Nausea   and vomiting

Buttercup – Ranunculus acris

All parts   especially celery leaved buttercup (Ranunculus sceleratus)

Irritant   juices may severely injure the digestive system. Harmful if eaten, skin   irritant. The bulb of the plant if eaten can cause poisoning in   children. The rest of the plant although poisonous is not as toxic as the   bulb. Can cause digestive upsets and if handled skin rash.

Catnip, Nepeta faassenii

All parts

A   volatile oil, nepetalactone, is present but its exact nature is undefined. It   is thought to be an abortificant. The effect of catmint on humans is of a lot   less interest than its action on cats where it seems to be a stimulant   leading to its being called 'cannabis for cats'.It is said to make humans   quarrelsome if ingested.

Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria

Roots and the bright yellow juice from the stem

Causes burning and irritation when in contact with   the skin – traditionally used to burn off warts. Acute hepatitis if injected

cherries –Wild, Prunus avium and   cultivated, genus prunus

Twigs,   foliage

Fatal.   Contains a compound that releases cyanide when eaten. Gasping, excitement and   prostration are common symptoms.

Comfrey Symphytum officinale


Although   used as a general tonic, can be harmful if ingested in too larger quantity or   over a period of time

Common   tansy,  Chrysantheumum vulgare

All parts

Nausea, vomiting, convulsions and death

Crab   apple, Malus   sylvestris


Like   many fruit-bearing trees, the pips contain cyanolipids from which cyanide can   be obtained.

Cuckoo   Pint/ Lords and Ladies, Arum maculatum

All the plant is poisonous, the red berries   are 

sweet tasting especially tempting to children.

Will cause burning to the mouth, lips and   throat. 

More serious affects are vomiting, stomach   cramps, 

muscular cramps, dizziness and, if eaten in   large 

amounts, coma and death.


Cyclamen,   genus Cyclamen


strong   purgative

Daffodil Hyacinth, genus Narcissus


Nausea,   vomiting, diarrhoea, staggering, collapse, unconsciousness, coma, death in a   few hours, 250g can be fatal 

Delphinium/Larkspur, Consolida regalis

All   parts, especially young plants

Digestive   upset, restlessness, salivation, nausea, vomiting, nervous excitement,   vertigo, depression. May be fatal.

Dock leaf, Rumex obtusufolius

Chrystals   found on surface of plant

The   toxic component is calcium oxalates. These needle-shaped crystals can   irritate the skin, mouth, tongue, and throat, resulting in throat swelling,   breathing difficulties, burning pain, and stomach upset.

Dogs   mercury, mercurialis   perennis


Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Larger doses cause lethargy,   jaundice, painful urination, apparently by making the urine acid, and coma   before death.

Elder, Sambucus nigra

All   parts, especially roots

Children   have been poisoned by using pieces of the pithy stems for blowguns. Nausea   and digestive upset. The berries are   poisonous when they are raw. Heating destroys toxins, hence wine making ,   pies etc. Diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pains, weakness. In more severe cases   coma.

Elephant’s   ear, Bergenia cordifolia


Intense   burning and irritation of the mouth and tongue. Death can occur if base of   the tongue swells enough to block the air passage of the throat.

Foxglove, Digitalis   purpurea

All   parts

Large   amounts cause dangerously irregular heartbeat and pulse, heart attack,   usually digestive upset and mental confusion. May be fatal.

Large   amounts of toxin are rarely absorbed into the system as vomiting is the main   reaction.

Fritillary, Fritillaria   meleagris


Though   not fully investigated, it is believed the plants have effects similar to the   genus veratrum. Some sources suggest it is a cardiac poison.

Giant hogweed/ cow parsley, Heracleum mantegazzianum

All   parts

Can   cause injury to the skin and sun exposure after contact with the sap of this   plant can result in reddening, stinging and fluid filled blisters which   usually occur within 24 hours of contact. The hollow stems are an attraction   to children for use as a "pea shooter".

Groundsel, Senecio vulgaris

All   parts

Liver   failure and death

Hellebore/ Christmas rose, genus Helleborus


Nausea   and vomiting – potentially fatal. Can cause skin irritation after direct   contact

Hemlock Water dropwort, Oenanthe crocata

All   parts

The   roots contain the greatest concentration of the toxins, especially in the   winter. A small amount of raw plant material is fatal causing nausea,   convulsions, excessive salivation and dilated pupils. Death comes quickly.   The roots have been eaten in mistake for parsnips and the stems have been   eaten as celery.

Hemlock, Conium macaltum

All   parts, especially young plants and seeds

Burning   sensation in mouth, salivation, diarrhoea and involuntary urination. Later   neurologic signs, including muscle tremors, muscular weakness, dim vision,   coma and convulsions. Death comes from respiratory failure.

Holly, Ilex aquifolium


Although   the berries are not very poisonous, if a small amount is eaten, two can cause   nausea and obviously the more that are consumed the worse the symptoms,   vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pains.

Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum


Children tend to play with the "conkers"   which are poisonous if eaten, also the bark, flowers and young leaves are   toxic. Stomach upsets including vomiting are usual results from eating this   plant. Eating large quantities which is unlikely can be extremely serious and   can lead to unconsciousness or death.

Icelandic poppy, Papaver radicatum


Skin irritation upon contact

Iris, genus   Iris

Underground   stems

Severe-but   not usually serious-digestive upset.

Ivy, Helix   hedera

The berries but any of the plant can cause a skin   reaction.

Vomiting and burning sensation in the mouth and   throat. Usually a rash or blistering will appear if handled by anyone with a   sensitive skin.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum

All   parts, especially roots

contains   small needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate that cause intense irritation   and burning of the mouth and tongue.

Jasmine, genus   Jasminum


Fatal.   Digestive disturbance and nervous symptoms.

Juniper, Juniperus   communis

Oils   contained in the needles

It is   capable of causing gastrointestinal upset though there is disagreement about   how serious this could be. It has also been shown to contain high levels of   isocupressic acid which is known to be an abortificant.

Laburnum, laburnum   anagyroides

Seeds,   pods

Severe   poisoning, Excitement, Staggering, Convulsions and coma., About 30 seeds, 6   seed pods can be fatal

Laurels, family Lauraceae

All   parts

Fatal.   Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration   and coma.

Lily-of-the-Valley, Convallaria majalis

Leaves,   flowers

Irregular   heart beat and pulse, usually accompanied by digestive upset and mental   confusion.

Lobelia, genus   Lobelia


Vomiting,   Convulsions, May be FATAL

Lupin, genus Lupinus


Cause   vomiting and convulsions.

Mistletoe, Viscum   album


Fatal.   Both children and adults have died from eating the berries. It causes pale   lips, inflamed eyes, dilated pupils, slow pulse, hallucinations and coma and   may result in hepatitis. Native mistletoe is said to not be excessively toxic   but imported varieties can be stronger.

Monkshood, Aconitum   napellus

All   parts extremely poisonous

Used by   Chinese as poison for poison darts

Restlessness,   nervous excitement, salivation, Digestive upset , nausea, vomiting, vertigo   and


Morning glory, family Convolvulaceae


produces   horrific hallucinations


Oaks, genus   Quercus

Foliage,   acorns

Affects   kidneys gradually. Symptoms appear only after several days or weeks. Takes a   large amount for poisoning.

Old man’s beard/ traveller’s joy, Clematis vitalba


severe   abdominal pain, gastrointestinal irritation and has caused death in cattle

Oleander, Nerium oleander

Leaves,   branches

Extremely   poisonous. Affects the heart, produces severe digestive upset and has caused   death.

Parsnip and wild parsnip, patinaca sativa

All   parts

Is   known to contain furocoumarins which can make the skin sensitive to light.

Pasque flower, pulsatilla vulgaris

All   parts

The   plant is a member of the same family as Buttercup and contains the glycoside   ranunculin. It has a very bitter taste which produces an immediate burning in   the mouth. Fatal in a large amount

Periwinkle,   Vinca major/minor

All parts are poisonous if eaten.

Vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

Potato, Solanum tuberosum

All   except tubers

Same   family as Deadly Night shade


Except   the tubers

Poppy, Genus Papaver

All   parts

All   parts of the papaver species are poisonous if eaten except for the seeds,   but  various alkaloids are present in all parts of the plants.

Only if eaten in large quantities will the plant   have any ill effects.

Primrose   (Primula vulgaris),  Primula (genus primula) or Cowslip (Primula veris)


The   plant if handled can cause skin irritation and if eaten digestive   disturbances.


family Ericaceae

All   parts

Fatal.   Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration   and coma.

Rhubarb, Rheum   rhabarbarum

Leaf   blade

Fatal.   Large amounts of raw or cooked leaves can cause convulsions, coma, followed   rapidly by death.




Rue, Ruta   graveolens


Ingestion   causes vomiting, diarrhoea, epigastric pain, acute gastroenteritis hepatic   and renal impairment. Seizures may be observed. Death can occur due to liver   failure. In women, uterine haemorrhage and abortion may occur.

Sneezewort, Veratrum   album

All   parts

Nausea,   repeated vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, salivation, dilated pupils and loss   of breath.  It severely damages the   nasal passages due to the poison in the aroma. The irritation caused results   in sneezing. It was used in sneezing powder until the full extent of the harm   was understood.

Snow berry, Symphoricarpos   albus


It is a   gastrointestinal irritant capable of causing vomiting, bloody urine and   delirium but its emetic effect is so strong that the berries are usually   expelled undigested.

Snow drop,    Galanthus nivalis

All   parts, especially the bulb

Dizziness,   stomach ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Most people recover but a fatal   dose is said to result in trembling and convulsions prior to death.

Snow flake, Luecojum   aestivum

All   parts, especially the bulb.

Although   similar in appearance to the snopdrop, this plant contains Lycorine, the   active ingredient, has been shown to be present in a similar concentration to   that present in Narcissus spp. And so this plant induces the same symptoms.

Solomon’s seal, Polygonatum   odoratum

All   parts

Contains   poisons but in very low quantity. Can cause bruising

Soya, Glycine max

Seeds   and pods when eaten raw

These   vegetables should not be eaten RAW

Contain   inhibitors for protein ingestion

Spindle, Euonymus   europaeus

All   parts contain poison but the berries have this in the highest quantities

Symptoms   appear up to 12 hours after ingestion and involve diarrhoea, vomiting and   stimulation of the heart. Larger doses can cause hallucinations, loss of   consciousness and symptoms similar to meningitis.

Spurges,  Euphorbia

All   parts

The   milky sap of spurges burns the mouth – there are many types of euphorbia

Stinging nettles, Urtica   dioica

Stinging   hairs on leaves

Although nettles can be eaten when cooked like   spinach, it is the stinging hairs on the uncooked plant which cause the   problem. When in contact with the plant the skin reddens and little white   bumps appear on the skin feeling very sore, turning to a constant itching   which could last for a couple of days.

Sweet peas, Lathyrus odoratus

All   parts

Will   make you severely sick. If enough ingested can be fatal

Thorn apple, Datura   stramonium

All   parts especially the seeds

Often   mistaken for angel’s trumpet (brugmansia). Confusion, delirium and   hallucinations are the principal effects with drowsiness, sleep or coma   generally following. Dilation of the pupils. Agitation, convulsions and   death.

Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum

All   except fruit

Same   family as Deadly Night shade


Except   the FRUITS

Viper’s bugloss, Echium   vulgare

All   parts

Liver   failure

White willow, Salix   alba


Aspirin.   Can cause stomach irritation and bleeding

Wild pepper /spurge flax,

Thymelaea   passerina

All   parts, especially berries, bark and sap.

The sap   irritates the skin. Non-fatal doses cause vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain   and a burning sensation in the mouth. Larger doses add to these shivering,   dilation of the pupils, convulsions and damage to the oral passages and the   intestine.

Wisteria, Wisteria   sinensis

Seeds,   pods

Mild to   severe digestive upset. Many children are poisoned by this plant.

Wood   Anemone, Anemone   nemorosa

All   parts especially sap

Although the Wood Anemone is not poisonous as such   it can still be toxic causing damage to the mouth and digestive system if in   contact with the sap. Blistering of the skin if handled, ulceration to the   mouth and digestive and urinary system.

Yew, Taxus   baccata

Berries,   foliage

Fatal.   Foliage more toxic than berries. Death is usually sudden without warning   symptoms.

Agaricus praeclaresq-uamousus,

Agaricus praeclaresq-uamousus



Black Helvella, Helvella   lacunosa



Blackish-purple russula, Russula undulata



Boletus luridus var. luridus,

Boletus luridus var. luridus




Brown   roll rim, Paxillus   involutus



Chestnut dapperling, lepiotacastanea



Clitocybe phyllophila,

Clitocybe phyllophila



Common earth ball, Scleroderma citrinum



Common   Ink Cap, Coprinopsis   atramentaria

Causes alarming symptoms when taken in conjunction   with alcohol.

If no alcohol has been taken the Common Ink Cap is   edible, but if alcohol has been consumed a few days before, to a few days   after eating it, signs of poisoning can occur. Rapid pulse, dizziness,   nausea, vomiting and confusion are the common signs. This varies with   each individual’s sensitivity to this type of poisoning. 

Common   white helvella,

Helvella crispa



Cortinarius   cinnabarinus,

Cortinarius   cinnabarinus



Cortinarius   semisanguineus,

Cortinarius   semisanguineus



Death   cap, Amanita phalloids



Destroying Angels, Amanita virosa


You become violently ill with severe vomiting and severe   diarrhoea You then get BETTER only to die a week or so later from total   internal organ failure

Emetic russula, Russula emetica f. longpipes



Fairy   Cake/ Poison Pie, Hebeloma   crustuliniforme

All   parts

Breathing difficulties, dizziness, headache,   vomiting and diarrhoea. The symptoms usually appear within two hours of   consuming and recovery within 24 hours unless severe.

False   Morel, Gyromitre   esculenta



Fenugreek   milkcap, Lactarius   helvus



Fly Agaric,   Amanita muscaria


This fungi is very attractive to children and   adults alike as the bright colours are very tempting to touch The symptoms   can appear after a very short time drowsiness, twitching and a death like   sleep, vivid visions and even coma. Symptoms usually subside after about 7 or   8 hours. There has been at least one reported death after eating this fungi.

Fried   chicken, Lyophyllum   connatum



Galerina   autumnalis,

Galerina autumnalis



Inocybe   geophylla var. geophylla,

Inocybe geophylla var.   geophylla



Inocybe   geophylla var. lilacina,

Inocybe geophylla var.lilacina



Inocybe   rimosa, Inocybe   rimosa 



Inocybe   lacera, Inocybe   lacera 



Laughing   Jim,

Gymnopilus junonius



Lepiota   aspera, Lepiota   aspera



Liberty   cap, Psilocybe semilanceata


Poisonous. Hallucinogenic. Magic mushrooms.

Lilac   bonnet,

Mycena pura f. pura



Mountain   moss Psilocybe, Psilocybe   Montana



Mower’s   mushroom,

Panaeolus foenisecii



Panaeolus   ater, Panaeolus ater



Panaeolus   fimicola,

Panaeolus fimicola



Panaeolus   sphinctrinus,

Panaeolus sphinctrinus



Panther   cap, Amanita pantherina



Pluteus   salicinus,

Pluteus salicinus


Poisonous. Hallucinogenic

Ramaria   Formosa,

Ramaria formosa



Russula   drimeia,

Russula drimeia



Sarcodon   scabrosus, Sarcodon   scabrosus



Scaley   earth ball,

Scleroderma verrucosum



Scleroderma   areolatum, Scleroderma  




Sulphur knight

Tricholoma sulphureum



Sulpher   tuft,

Psilocybe fascicularis



The gemmed mushroom, Amanita gemmata



Yellow stainer, Agaricus   xanthoderma