H Ryder wrote:
I know that lots of plants are described as "poisonous" when in fact they
just give you a bit of a bad tummy, whilst others can be fatal. I have small
children so am trying to rid the garden of anythign fatal to them but do not
mind the "bad tummy" plants. Does anyone know where I can find out just how
poisonous plants are? Am especially interested in Daphnes as I'd love to
have one but have avoided getting one as they seem "very poisonous" but I am
not sure of this. Also please let me know of any common plant which is fatal
to children - I know of Lords and Ladies (Acorus calamus ) and nightshade
but am not sure of others. (I also know that I can tell them not to eat
anything but that does not work in a garden full of raspberries etc - they
know that they can eat some stuff )
The RHS site has a pdf file of poisonous plants, though it's probably
easier to list what is NOT poisonous.
If it's any consolation to you, I'm pretty certain there have been no
reported deaths from plant poisoning in absolutely years and years. I
can't say it's something I ever worried about with my children and they
seem to have survived. However, I would say that while you might well
want to avoid certain plants that are poisonous if ingested, I'd be at
least as cautious, if not more so, about plants whose sap or leaves can
irritate the skin. We no longer sell Rue here, because a customer who
had bought it from us and had it for a year, had read but ignored or
forgotten that the label warned it's a considerable skin irritant to
some people. She complained bitterly and made a really huge fuss and
it's just not worth the risk for us. Another plant to beware of
(though you're unlikely to grow it deliberately!) is Giant Hogweed.
Euphorbia sap is very irritating to some skins and even daffodils can
have the same effect.
This is another useful site
and its introduction says
"The following list of potentially harmful plants has been based on
information contained in the Horticultural Retailers Code of Practice.
The Code is compiled by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) who
have worked with the Poisons Unit at Guy's Hospital and The Royal
Botanic Gardens at Kew. "