Poisonous Plants: An Overview

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Poisonous plants 1

Do you know that there are a number of poisonous plants that may be present in your backyard?

Poisonous Plants have hundreds of types and some of them are commonly present in the backyard.

Moreover, it is important to note that some of these plants can be poisonous when you eat them, while some of them can affect your skin.

Additionally, every plant of these plants can have poison on them.

The danger can range from mild irritation to severe illness or death.

One of the main causes of issues that occurs due to poisonous plants is the presence of the chemical: Urushiol.

This chemical can cause an itchy red rash with bumps and blisters.

With the help of over-the-counter medications you can treat them, however, in some cases, they can cause a severe burn on the skin.

Keep on reading to learn more about the 15 common poisons plants that might be present in your backyard.

1# Bittersweet Nightshade

One of the common woody weeds and dangerous o have around kids is bittersweet nightshade.

This poisonous plant has brightly colored yellows and has the highest level of toxicity for humans and animals.

Moreover, it is important to note that not only its berries but also other parts of the plant like bark, leaves, and sap are toxic.

You might confuse its rapidly growing vine with American Bittersweet and Oriental Bittersweet plants.

bittershade nightshade

Additionally, the vines of this poisonous plant coil around the trees, shrubs, and any other support, including manmade structures.

The roots of this plant are deep and have a bright orange color.

What makes this poisonous plant so vicious is that it often chokes out and kills any other vegetation in several different areas.

The vines can overgrow other plants so that they will not get sunlight, air, or water.

Strong vine girdle so tightly around the stems of the trees that they strangle hem.

2# Chinese Lanterns

Just like bittersweet nightshade, the Chinese Lantern plant leaves and fruit is toxic.

Most commonly, crafts enthusiasts grow them, the initial color of the fruit is green and it changes to yellow late in the summer and by fall.

chinese lanterns

At this stage, it is rich orange in color. You might want to use the colorful pods in dried floral arrangements and wreaths.

It is a clump-forming plant with at least 3-inch long medium green leaves.

Moreover, it is important to note that this plant can grow from rhizomes.

Trying to manually remove it may leave behind even a tiny piece of the root which is all this plant will need to grow in the future.

3# Foxglove

Foxglove is tall, flowering biennials that grow well in a spot with dry shade.

These plants bloom with multiple tubular, that often have freckles, flowers that form on a spike in color ranging from purple to white.

Moreover, it is important to note that consuming any part of the plant, i.e. flowers, leaves, roots, and stems can be very much toxic to your body.


It is important to note that if you have this plant in your backyard, then you should immediately remove them.

This is because they can be dangerous for your children and even pets.

It is common for foxgloves to look unkept as the heat of summer arrives, however, the flower stalks can look quite shabby.

Removing the flower stalks can stimulate the plant into producing a second flush of flowers.

YOu can simply pull the entire plant from the ground once it completes the flowering cycle.

Make sure to remove the second-year plant.

4# Mountain Laurel

Mountain laurel is most common in North America, however, you can also buy the plant from your nearby nurseries.

It has stunning spring blooms and its elliptical, glossy deep green leaves and gnarled stems make it attractive.

Moreover, this shade-loving shrub produces clusters of rose, pink, or white flowers with purple markings from late May to early June.

An important thing to note is that Mountain laurel, azaleas, and rhododendrons (Rhododendron spp.) belong to the heath family, and the bark, sap, leaves, and flowers are toxic.

mountain laurel

In order to remove these plants, prune the branches back to as close to the ground as possible.

This will make it earlier to remove the shrub. Dig it out, spray the area with an herbicide that contains the active ingredient triclopyr.

Such a herbicide will prevent it from sprouting again. However, if your shrub is already small, it is not compulsory to spray the plant.

In about a month or so, the plant will wilt and cover the area with black plastic.

With no light, water, the sun will heat up the ground, and the remaining roots or sprouts will die.

5# Castor Beans

Castor bean is a tropical plant popular as an annual in northern climates.

Moreover, you may often find it for patios, decks, or porches.

Though the leaves, stalk, and seed-heads are all attractive.

The laxative, actor oil comes from this plant, however, so is the deadly toxin: ricin found in this plant.

Poisonous plants, castor beans

Moreover, make sure to never handle these plants without heavy rubber gloves, safety glasses, a respirator, and a disposable protective suit.

High heat for a long period of time will destroy the toxins in the seeds.

This process can help to disperse toxins in the atmosphere. Make sure to attempt this procedure on calm, windless data away from both people and animals.

6# Yew Shrubs

Yew bushes can either grow in sun or shade and the shade tolerance of this plant gives an important option in challenging areas.

However, its fleshy, bright red barriers contain a seed that is toxic.

The needle-like leaves are also toxic to both humans and animals.

yew shrubs

In order to remove them, cut off the top part of the yew with a sharp chainsaw or loopers, leaving only a short stump or stumps above the ground.

Remove as much soil as possible and cut into the roots around the shrub with a sharp spade.

In most cases, yews have dense, thick roots, and spade may not be able to cut it all the way through.

Therefore, removing the soil can help. Cut the roots from the trunk, pruning it well.

Continue removing the soil and cutting the roots as you go. Severe all the roots that are connected to the truck, remove the stump using a spade.

7#  Poison Sumac

One of the important things to note about poison sumac is that both leaves and berries of this plant are toxic.

Moreover, this plants five all sumac shrubs a bad name, despite the fact that most of them are harmless and beautiful in fall.

The leaves of poison sumac often contain 5 to 13 leaflets, a red stem, and white oddly shaped berries.

To remove this plant from your garden, you will need protective clothing, rubber gloves, boots, pruning shears, a garden hose, a shovel, and a pump sprayer.

One organic way to remove poison sumac is to pull it out by the roots. Make sure to dispose of the roots in the trash.

Poisonous plants, posion sumac

Another way is to pull the plant away from the surrounding growth and structure.

Trim it back to the ground with pruning shears, however, if the plant is mature, its limbs can interwind with foliage and structures nearby.

Use shears to free it and then bag all the clippings.

Spray the area to saturate the soil, wait for 30 to 0 minutes, as this will make it easier to pull up the roots.

Dig in the roil, pull up all the roots, and place them in a plastic bag.

8# Poison Ivy

The main cause of poison ivy is a chemical substance: Urushiol.

While the leaves are the main toxic part of the plant, contact with any parts either its stems or roots or bare foliage can cause an allergic reaction.

Therefore, you should avoid touching this plate with bare hands.

This also includes the smoke of the plant when burning poison ivy.

The best time to remove poison ivy is during the springtime when the leaves are read and easy to spot.

However, you should address them plant as soon as you identify them.

poison ivy

Make sure to never burn the plant as the toxin urushiol can travel in the smoke for miles, causing serious breathing problems.

First, with the help of shears or pruners, remove the stems of the plant and place them in garbage bags.

Secure them with a tie, but do not tear or rip at the vines, as this can disperse the toxin into the air.

In cases, there are only a few plants to remove, use a shovel to dig out the roots and pack them for disposal.

However, if you have many plants, then cut as much of the top growth, spray the remaining roots, stems, and stubs with a chemical weed.

9# Easter Lily

Easter lily is a misnomer for trumpet-shaped flowers.

They have a perfume scent in Easter during the cold climates. These lilies often bloom outdoors much earlier than July when most of the other popular lilies do.

While the sap of the stems and leaves can be toxic to humans, they are more problematic for cats.

It is important to note that killing these plants is easier than other plants. You just need to overwater it.

Poisonous plants, easter lily

To cut them, cut off the anthers. They vary in color in the center of the flower, however, are usually yellow, orange, or red.

Cut off the mature lily flowers as they will start to wilt and lose color. Remove the wilted ones at the base of the flower head.

Remove its stems as they turn brown, cut each stem above a healthy leaf.

Final Thoughts

Some of the other common poisonous plants are stinging nettles, yellow dock, lantana,  lily of the valley, white baneberry, and tansy.

These poisonous plants can either have their flowers or berries to carry the toxin, or the whole plant could be carrying the toxic chemicals. Therefore, if you find any one of the common poisonous plants in your backyard, make sure to remove them as soon as possible. Make sure to follow the safety guidelines to avoid any allergic reaction.

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