With April showers come May flowers, or so the saying goes. What if we told you that not all that glitters is gold? Well, to your furry friend at least. We compiled a list of some common garden flowers that folks tend to plant in their garden. We all know that tulips and their bulbs are toxic to our pets. Here are 12 more flowers to watch out for.
Gladiolas are often prized for their radiant color as well as their easy-to-care nature. These beauties can be found blooming around the world when spring and summer roll around. The most toxic part of this flower is the bulb. Besides being a choking hazard, ingestion of a large amount can cause serious heart conditions.
The morning glory is a vine flower that holds many secrets. It is native to Mexico and Central America. Morning glories were revered and respected by certain folks (such as the Mayans, Aztecs, and certain tribes in Mexico/Central America). They would consume the seeds during their sacred practices to embark on vision quests. Please note that morning glories are toxic. The seeds contain toxins that can make one violently ill as well as hallucinate. Consumption of the plant itself can lead to vomiting.
This flower can be seen in various flower shops and easter bouquets. It’s commonly associated with the Spring season. They are often prized for their whimsy and beauty. Be aware that they contain a toxic, natural alkaloid called lycorine. This flower is poisonous if eaten by our cat or dog friends. Ingestion of the bulb, plant, or flower can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and even muscle spasms.
Calla Lily, Adam & Eve, Belladonna Lily, Peace Lily, & Amaryllis
Calla Lilies are technically not part of the lily family, however, they are still just as toxic as their namesake. Common lilies that can be found in the wild are Adam-and-Eve, Peace Lily, Belladonna Lily, and Amaryllis. These plants can be seen dotting the yards and backyards of your neighbors and friends, as well as along roads or springs of your local walking spot. These flowers contain a compound called insoluble calcium oxalate, which we wrote about in the previous blog article about the top five common poisonous plants.
This common gardening shrub is quite popular because of its vibrant beauty and longevity. It blooms and stays radiant all season long. These shrubs are poisonous to humans and animals alike. The entire plant is poisonous. It only takes a couple of bites to feel the effects. Consumption of any part can lead to excessive drooling, diarrhea, difficulty walking, lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, seizures, and tremors.
Birds of Paradise
All parts of the plant are toxic, with the flower being the most toxic part. Certain species of this plant are more poisonous than others. One bite of the flower will cause the dog to feel the effects of the poison within 20 minutes. Symptoms include rapid pulse, muscle tremors, burning or irritation of the mouth, vomiting, and diarrhea.
There are over 1,000 species and 10,000 hybrids of this plant. The chances of this plant being in your neighborhood are high. This plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates. Consumption of this plant will lead to vomiting, salivation, and even kidney failure, similar to the effects of other plants that contain this toxin. The most toxic part of this plant is underground.
This flower looks like it has little butterflies nesting on its petals. It is toxic to both dogs and cats. The toxic components of this plant are the resinous purgative irisin and cytotoxic terpenoids. The most toxic parts are underground (ie. roots and bulb), however, the flowers and leaves are equally as dangerous. Consumption of this plant will lead to diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, and lethargy. Symptoms and severity depend on which part and how much of the plant was ingested.
These flowers are a pollinator's best friend, but a furry friend's worst enemy. It is native to parts of the United Kingdom, the Mediterranean, and the Canary Islands. It is considered an invasive species in the United States. All parts of the plant contain cardiac glycosides and are toxic if ingested. Symptoms include extreme drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and salivation. Severity depends on how much of the plant is consumed.
Oleander is very beautiful and extremely deadly to humans and pets. Oleander is native to North Africa and the Meditteranean regions. It prefers warm climates; it thrives in the southern parts of the United States--from Florida to Southern California. Every part of this plant is toxic. This flower also contains cardiac glycosides. Consumption of the smallest amount can lead to severe or deadly effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, abdominal pain, and death.
Hydrangeas are beautiful flower bushes found in gardens and bouquets across the world. The leaves and flowers of this plant are toxic if ingested. The toxic component in the plant is called cyanogenic glycoside. This means that the toxin breaks down within the body and is processed into cyanide. Pets can experience depression, vomiting, and diarrhea. The severity of symptoms depends on the amount consumed.
Sweet pea is delightfully fragrant and a gardener’s favorite spring choice. They are considered a cottage garden essential. All species of this plant contain a toxin called aminoproprionitrite. Consumption of this plant can lead to lethargy, weakness, tremors, seizures, and possibly death. Severity depends on the amount eaten.
It doesn’t mean you have to pull these flowers out today if you have them in your garden. Plants like the hydrangea and morning glory depend on the quantity eaten. We suggest always monitoring your pet on their trips outside if you have these in your garden or around your neighborhood. Consider moving them into hard-to-reach areas to prevent your pet’s access to them. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of these plants, we suggest contacting your veterinarian immediately.