Poisonous House Plants

Poisonous House Plants can be found in many homes. Many are VERY commonly used. If poisoning is suspected, call an emergency number for humans, or for pets, call your veterinarian...immediately!

ALL PLANTS LISTED BELOW are poisonous house plants and are toxic for both humans and pets alike.
  • Some members of the Lily Family and Lily-Like Amaryllis groups are poisonous.
  • The bulbs of Hyacinths, Narcissus, and Daffodil cause intensive digestive upset.
  • Some Amaryllis, Crinum, and Oleander are particularly dangerous. A single bite can be a lethal dose.
  • Oleander is common down south and is grown as a potted plant in the north. The flowers are showy and very fragrant. Its poisonous principle is similar to digitalis in its effect on the heart.
  • Impatiens, Carnations, Coffee Bean plant, Crotons, Crown of Thorns, Cyclamen, Dracaena, Easter Lily, Baby's Breath (Gypsophila) and related house plants are also poisonous.

*Below is a list of poisonous house plants (toxic house plants) that are VERY commonly received as a gift or to find in ANY home!!

Poisonous House Plants List

Caladium bicolor

Common names:

Angel Wings
Couer Saignant
Corazon de Cabrito
Lagrimas de Maria
Mother-in-Law Plant
Paleta de Pintor

Description: Showy, variegated, heart-shaped
leaves. Color may vary from white
to orange or red depending on

Toxic Part: The whole plant is injurious when

Symptoms: Intense irritation of the lips,
mouth and throat.

Dieffenbachia species

Common Names:

Dumb Plant
Mother-in-Law's Tongue Plant

Description: Tall, erect plants with large
oblong leaves splotched with ivory

Toxic Part: Leaf

Symptoms: Chewing on the leaf produces
immediate intense pain followed by
swelling of the mouth.

Alocasia species

Common names:

Elephant's Ear
Cabeza de Burro
Malanga de Jardin
Malanga Cara de Chivo
Chine Ape

Description: Erect perennial with long stemmed,
spearhead-shaped leaves. Flowers
appear on a greenish stem.

Toxic Part: The leaves and stems are injurious.

Symptoms: Chewing of plant part causes a
painful burning sensation of the
lips, mouth, tongue, and throat.

Epipremnum aureum

Common Names:

Amapalo Amarillo
Devil's Ivy
Golden Ceylon Creeper
Golden Hunter's Robe
Golden Pothos
Hunter's Robe
Ivy Arum
Malanga Trepadora
Solomon Island Ivy
Taro Vine
Variegated Philodendron

Description: Climbing vine with large heart-
shaped leaves that are usually
streaked with yellow.

Toxic Part: The whole plant is injurious.

Symptoms: Causes diarrhea upon ingestion.
Also causes dermatitis when
touched. Causes burning sensation
in mouth when eaten.

Euphorbia species (E. lactea )

Common Names:

Candelabra Cactus

Description: Many-branched succulent, spiny
shrub or tree with milky sap and
wing-like spiny ridges.

Toxic Parts: Leaves, stems, and milky sap.

Symptoms: When ingested, causes severe
irritation of the mouth, throat,
and skin; temporary blindness;
vomiting; diarrhea; and stomach

E. marginata

Common Names:


Description: Tall annual herb with milky juice,
growing up to 3 feet in height.
Leaves are lance shaped and smooth,
bordered by conspicuous white
margins. Flowers are bordered with
a whorl of white petal-like leaves.
Fruit is 3-celled 3-lobed capsule.

Toxic Parts: Leaves, stems, and milky sap.

Symptoms: When touched, causes blistering of
the skin. When ingested, causes
severe irritation of the mouth,
throat, and stomach; nausea;
abdominal pain; fainting; and

Cypripedium species

Common Names:

Lady's Slipper

Description: Has lance-shaped leaves 2 to 6
inches long. Yellow-green flowers with
white pouches which may be blushed
with pink or spotted with purple.

Toxic Part: Bulbs

Symptoms: Contact Dermatitis

E. pulcherrima

Common Names:

Christmas Flower
Christmas Star
Easter Flower

Description: Large green stem leaves and smaller
but showy red, pink, or yellow
leaves surrounding the flowers.
Fruit is a 3-celled, 3-lobed

Toxic Parts: Leaves, stems, and milky sap.

Symptoms: When touched, causes irritant
dermatitis. If ingested, may cause

Philodendron species

Common Names:


Description: Climbing vines with aerial roots.
Leaves large and variable, the most
common being heart-shaped.

Toxic Part: Leaves
Symptoms: When ingested, causes painful burning
of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat.
Contact dermatitis is common.

Solanum pseudocapsicum

Common Names:

Jerusalem Cherry

Description: Mostly herbs or shrubs. Are often
spiny, hairy, or have stinging
hairs. Berries are black, orange,
yellow, or red.

Toxic Part: Entire plant, especially the

Symptoms: When ingested, causes gastric
irritation, scratchy feeling in the
throat, fever, and diarrhea.

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Common Names:

Calla Lily
Lirio Cala

Description: Smooth-edged arrowhead-shaped
leaves which grow on long stalks.
Flower may be white or green.

Toxic Part: Leaves are injurious.

Symptoms: When ingested, causes intense
burning of the lips and mouth.
Also direct irritant dermatitis.

There are many poisonous house plants existing. If there is ever any doubt...better to be safe than sorry. Isolate the suspected poisonous house plants so pets or children can't get to it....or remove it from the home entirely.

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