Poisonous Flowers and Plants

While most flowers and plants may look harmless, there are a variety of poisonous plants that can be toxic, or even deadly, to humans and animals. It is in the best interest of people to be able to identify at least some of them to avoid coming into contact with them. Poisonous flowers and plants are potentially hazardous to all living organisms, which includes not only humans but also pets, livestock, and other animals.

If for some reason a person does get into contact with a poisonous flower or plant or accidentally ingests one or the other, the first step should be to seek immediate medical help. In order to try to avoid contact, one should familiarize themselves with local plants that are poisonous. Below is a guide that helps to educate about different poisonous plants, for humans and animals, and possible prevention steps and treatments.

Poisonous Flowers and Plants

Poisonous flowers and plants can be found everywhere in the U.S., as well as all over the world and not all florists might know all of them. Some of the most common poisonous plants are poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. People most often come into contact with and interact with the poisonous plant when out in nature, either hiking or just taking a walk on a weekend afternoon. Children especially are vulnerable to coming into contact with poisonous plants because of how inquisitive they are by nature and how curious they are to touch almost everything. For this reason, it is especially necessary to educate children or at least to watch them quite closely when they are in a situation where they can come into contact with poisonous plants and flowers.

  • Poison Ivy: This website from Virginia Tech works as a resource on how to identify poison ivy. It includes numerous pictures to help visitors identify this plant.
  • Poison Oak: This website functions as a resource guide on poison oak and includes information on its history, how to treat it, and various photos so people can easily identify it.
  • Safety Tips on Dealing with Poisonous Plants: This PDF website features information on how to deal with a brush with a poisonous plant.
  • Symptoms of Poisonous Plants: This website features pictures and information on how to spot symptoms of poisonous plants.
  • Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac Details: This government website provides details on poison ivy, poison sumac , and poison oak so that people can be aware of its symptoms, causes and how to treat problems.
  • Plants that are Poisonous: This website from the University of Pennsylvania features a glossary and a list of plants by both their common and Latin names.
  • Poisonous Plants Guide: This website enables visitors to search a database until they find the specific, poisonous plant they are looking for.
  • North Carolina Poisonous Plants: This educational website features a list of poisonous plants in North Carolina, plants like Rosary Pea and California buckeye.

Poisonous Flowers and Plants

Poisonous Flowers and Plants for Animals

Human beings are not the only ones who can be affected by poisonous plants. Animals are also at risk of being poisoned by certain plants and flowers. Animals that are particularly vulnerable are domestic pets and livestock like cows, pigs, and even horses. It is advised that farmers and others who own land with livestock grazing on it evaluate their property to discover if there are any poisonous plants and flowers on it.


Sometimes, the best approach to preventing something is to be prepared. In the case of poisonous flowers and plants, the best way to prevent from getting poisoned by them is knowing what they look like and being able to identify them. Being able to identify poisonous plants and flowers allows people to avoid them if they see them out in nature. Being able to identify poisonous plants and flowers may mean memorizing how certain plants and flowers look like. Some poisonous plants like poison ivy are relatively easier to identify (due to their commonality) than other poisonous plants.


Treatment for victims of poisonous plants (either by accidental ingestion or by contact) usually depends on the specific situation of the person. A doctor has to evaluate the specific factors surrounding the poisoned person and then come up with an individualized treatment plan. Treatment can range from common sense measures like not to touch other parts of the body (to avoid contamination and spreading) to applying particular ointment over the problem area. However, serious cases of poisoning by poisonous plants require immediate medical attention, which can include going to one’s personal doctor or even heading to the emergency room.

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Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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