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 species.

Toxic Part: The whole plant is injurious when ingested.

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 markings.

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 pain.

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 diarrhea.

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 capsule.

Toxic Parts: Leaves, stems, and milky sap.

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

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 berries.

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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