Monday, December 5, 2016

Poison Lilies and other dangerous (and safe) plants

Is it poisonous?  Florists are often asked the toxicity of certain flowers and blooming plants, especially around the holidays.  While we cannot guarantee the level of nausea you or your pet will feel after consuming decorative flowers and plants, we can give you a list of toxic and non-toxic plants:

Poinsettias are the #1 blooming plant to be given at holiday time in December.  It's also the #1 misunderstood plant.  It is NOT poisonous, however, eating any part of this plant or any other plant will likely make you nauseous to a certain degree.  Also the yellow cluster in the center is the actual "flower", the colorful bracts are not.

Although kissing under the mistletoe is still a very popular custom, you should never eat it.  Mistletoe is poisonous to humans and animals.   It has greater complications for pets, even if it is a dried version of the plant.  As a florist, I never carry fresh mistletoe for liability reasons.   Holly plant and berries have a similar toxic effect on pets and humams and should be kept out of reach.

Another seasonal favorite in December is the Amaryllis. Amaryllis is in a genus or group of similar flowers with names like "Belladonna Lily" and "Jersey Lily" named for their lily-shaped petals.  It is not part of the actual Lilium family but is related to Easter lilies in the Hippeastrum family.   It usually considered more toxic to pets as humans are less likely to try and consume the flowers or the bulb.  The bulb of the plant contains higher concentrations of the chemicals that cause complications in pets.  

Christmas Cactus:
This colorful plant blooms in December and is NOT poisonous.  It would be a good choice as a gift when safety is a prime concern.  

However, any fiberous plant material is not going to agree with any pet or human, and will usually cause stomach irritation /or nausea, but will not be life threatening if the plant is considered Non-toxic.