Deadly Plants

Castor bean
Castor bean (Ricinus communis) at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, FL.

Florida is named for the vast number of beautiful flowers and plants that can be grown here—but many have a dark side.

Popular landscape plants like allamanda and croton can cause illness or sometimes even death. Both angel’s trumpet and oleander are widely planted because of their beautiful flowers. But gardeners should know that eating any part of these plants can cause toxic or even deadly effects. Castor bean has become increasingly popular as an ornamental plant, but it too is dangerous. Eating just three or four of its seeds could kill a person. Even the widely planted sago can be poisonous—even deadly—for pets.

The key is to be aware that there may be poisonous plants in your landscape. If a poisoning is ever suspected, you should contact your poison control center immediately.

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