17 Amazingly Beautiful But Poisonous Ornamental Plants

Toxic ornamental plants that everybody have to be aware of.

Gardening is a favorite hobby of millions worldwide. Basically, we choose beautiful plants or plants that bear beautiful and colorful flowers for our garden because our very purpose is to beautify our surroundings. But we should be very careful in choosing ornamental plants for our garden because there are plenty of poisonous species of plants that can be very harmful to us, to our kids and to our pets.

Here’s a list of poisonous ornamental plants.

American Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum)

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The leaves of this ornamental plant with lovely flowers can be poisonous. American Rhododendron, also called Great Rhododendron, Great Laurel, Rose Bay, American Rhododendron or Big Rhododendron, is a species native to eastern North America.

Yellow Azalea (Rhododendron luteum)

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This beautiful ornamental plant that bear pretty flowers is poisonous. Despite the sweet perfume of the flowers, the nectar is toxic, containing grayanotoxin; records of poisoning of people eating the honey date back to the 4th century BC in Classical Greece. Yellow Azalea also known as Honeysuckle Azalea is a species of Rhododendron native to southeastern Europe and southwest Asia.

Western Azalea (Rhododendron occidentale)

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All parts of Western Azalea contain grayanotoxin (formerly known as andromedotoxin, acetylandromedol, and rhodotoxin), arbutin glucoside. Nausea, salivation, vomiting, weakness, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, loss of balance are the common symptoms of poisoning. The Western Azalea is found in Oregon and as far south as the Palomar Mountain area in southern California, with reports that it is found in Baja California, Mexico. 100 to 225 grams of azalea leaves must be eaten to seriously poison a 55 lb child.

Marsh Labrador Tea (Rhododendron tomentosum)

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All parts of this beautiful plant contain poisonous terpenes that affect central nervous system, causing aggressive behavior. First symptoms of overdose are dizziness and disturbances in movement, followed by spasms, nausea and unconsciousness. The mere smell of the plant may cause headache to some people. Marsh Labrador Tea, also known as Northern Labrador Tea or Wild Rosemary, is a flowering plant. It grows in peaty soils, shrubby areas, moss and lichen tundra.

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17 Responses to “17 Amazingly Beautiful But Poisonous Ornamental Plants”
  1. Unofre Pili Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 9:11 am

    I get smarter today. Very informative and well-presented article.


  2. Glynis Smy Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 9:21 am

    A very informative piece, the pictures were great.


  3. Verniel Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Another awesome post. Very typical of you, Nobert. Good work again!


  4. CHAN LEE PENG Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Awesome!


  5. mae Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 10:41 am

    Beautiful article! Informative! You are very good at choosing the most interesting ones!


  6. PR Mace Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I also love to garden and have a large one in front of our home. I loved the Mother of Millions that one I had never seen. I did not know about the azalea bushes. In the south almost everyone has them. They are so beautiful in the spring. Thank you for a brillant article.


  7. Darlene McFarlane Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Your picture of the Western Azaleas is beautiful and I have never seen the Mother of Millions before but I love it. I have had the Elephant’s Ear before and never knew it was poisonous. I had no idea any of these were poisonous.

    Thanks for sharing with us.


  8. Ruby Hawk Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    We have most of these plants here in Georgia. I love the azalea, mountain laurel, rododendron, elephant’s ear,and honeysuckles. I grew them, among others in my yard before I moved to an apartment. great article, best wishes. Ruby


  9. Lauren Axelrod Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    These are amazing. I love the Mother of Million. It looks like tiny individual flowers hooked together. Great piece Norbert.


  10. william rodriguez II Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Very informative, a reminder that not all beautiful things in this world are safe,hehe.


  11. eddiego65 Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Great article, bro. You always remind us that looks can be deceiving. LOL.


  12. valli Says...

    On September 18, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    Amazing article with beautiful pictures.


  13. Anne Lyken-Garner Says...

    On September 19, 2008 at 5:35 am

    Very informative. I know the leaf of life (life plant) from South America. If you pick one single leaf and keep it inside a book, it will sprout roots which enables it to be replanted.

    I’d never known that it was poisonous.


  14. claris Says...

    On September 19, 2008 at 7:46 am

    nice article, very informative


  15. nobert soloria bermosa Says...

    On September 19, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    thank you very much for reading and commenting, i appreciate it very much more than words can say.


  16. Jim Says...

    On January 23, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you, but please don’t forget about Oleander. Planted heavily around schools, hotels, and even school yards, this plant is EXTREMELLY poisonous.
    My son ingested the flower and we had to rush him to the emergency room.
    Google it!


  17. Celina Law Says...

    On March 31, 2010 at 2:43 am

    Very infomative. I never knew (till right now) that the Miracle Leaf and Elephant Ears are poisonous too – I used to plant them during my younger days and put the Miracle Leaves in between the pages of my books for them to sprout and used them as bookmarks!

    The Rhododendron species are too beutiful to be poisonous – like the saying goes….. “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”!


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