Fortunately for us, most plants are only potentially harmful if you eat them and not all of them are lethal. While this fact doesn’t pose a problem to most discerning adults, a brightly coloured berry or flower can be highly attractive to both young children and pets alike, increasing the danger and risk to their young lives.
Here are a few of the common poisonous plants found in South African gardens:
|Photo Credit: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Laurier2.jpg|
|Photo Credit: Anna Anichkova|
Children and dogs alike seem to love the ripe berries of this tree, however, they can make humans and animal violently ill because they contain a high concentration of meliatoxins.
|Photo Credit: sutton.co.uk|
This common food may come as a surprise. While many people enjoy eating the stems of this plant in a variety of desserts, eating the rhubarb leaves can actually be fatal. Ingesting a large amount of the leaves will affect your mouth and throat and can lead to convulsions, internal bleeding and death.
|Photo Credit: Wikipedia|
5. Elephants ear
|Photo Credit: Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden|
6. Delicious Monster
|Photo Credit: Karen K Krietemeye via Pinterest|
This plant is another indoor and outdoor favourite. Dieffenbachia is more commonly known as Dumb Cane for the sap from the leaves and stem which can cause the tongue of the victim to swell so much that they are not able to speak!
So how can we ensure the safety of those we love? With the exception of Oleander, education, not elimination, is usually the best way to deal with poisonous plants. Removing all of the toxic plants from your garden would create a safe environment at home (and some very bare garden beds), however, it isn’t the best solution. Instead, educate your children to refrain from putting berries, flowers or leaves into their mouths. By educating them you are ensuring their safety when out and about, even when they are not under your supervision.
Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.norgarbproperties.co.za