Plants

Plants are a leading cause of poisoning of young children. If eaten, some household plants can cause a skin rash or stomach upset—others can even cause death.

Most plant poisonings can be prevented with some simple measures:

  • Assume all plants are poisonous unless you know otherwise.
  • Remove poisonous plants.
  • Teach children not to put plants, fruits, or berries in their mouth without first asking a grownup.
  • Watch young children closely around plants.
  • Place all plants out of children’s reach if they are not being used in a specific activity.
  • Label plants in every area where children are present, including around the perimeter of the building and in the play yard. That way, if a child does eat a plant, accurate information can be given to the doctor or poison control center.

Plants safe for growing around young children:

A

  • African daisy (Arctotis spp.)
  • African violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)
  • Aluminum plant (Pilea spp.)
  • Alyssum (Alyssum spp.)

B

  • Baby’s tears (Soleirolia soleirolii)
  • Bachelor’s button (Centaurea cyanus)
  • Balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus)
  • Bamboo (Bambusa multiplex
  • Bamboo, Golden (Phyllostachys aurea)
  • Bee balm (Monarda spp.)
  • Bellflower (Campanula spp.)
  • Bird of paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
  • Bird’s nest fern (Asplenium nidus)
  • Black-eyed Susan vine (Thunbergia alata)
  • Blue marguerite (Felicia amelloides)
  • Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • Bottlebrush (Callistemon spp.)
  • Brush cherry (Syzygium spp.)
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)

C

  • California poppy (Eschscholzia californica)
  • Camellia (Camellia japonica)
  • Canna lily (Canna generalis)
  • Carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua)
  • Carpet bugle (Ajuga reptans)
  • Cast iron plant (Aspidistra elatior)
  • China aster (Callistephus chinensis)
  • China doll (Radermachera spp.)
  • Christmas cactus (Schlumber gera bridgesii)
  • Cockscomb (Celosia spp.)
  • Coleus (Coleus hybridus)
  • Coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora)
  • Coral bells (Heuchera sanguinea)
  • Corn plant (Dracaena spp.)
  • Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)
  • Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
  • Crocus, Spring-blooming (Crocus vernus)
    (Other species in the genus may be toxic.)
  • Crown-pink (Lychnis coronaria

D

  • Dahlia (Dahlia hybrids)
  • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
  • Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
  • Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga spp.)
  • Dracaena (Dracaena spp.)

E

  • Easter lily (Lilium longiflorum)
  • Escallonia (Escallonia spp.)
  • Eugenia (Syzygium spp.)
  • Evening primrose (Oenothera caespitosa)

F

  • False spiraea (Astilbe spp.)
  • Flame violet (Episcia cupreata)
  • Flowering maple (Abutilon spp.)
  • Forget-me-not (Myosotis spp.)
  • Freesia (Freesia spp.)
  • Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.)

G

  • Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
  • Globe thistle (Echinops exaltatus)
  • Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa)
  • Goldfish plant (Columnea spp.)
  • Grape hyacinth (Muscari spp.)

H

  • Hare’s-foot fern (Polypodium aureum)
  • Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)
  • Heart-of-flame bromeliad (Bromelia spp.)
  • Hen and chicks (Echeveria spp.)
  • Hens and chickens (Sempervivum tectorum)
  • Hibiscus (Hibiscus spp.)
  • Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

I

  • Ice plant (Aptenia, Carpobrotus and Lampranthus spp.)
  • Impatiens (Impatiens spp.)
  • India hawthorn (Raphiolepis spp.)

J

  • Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica)
  • Job’s tears (Coix lacryma-jobi)

K

L

  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Lipstick plant (Aeschynanthus spp.)
  • Liriope (Liriope muscari)

M

  • Magnolia, Star (Magnolia stellata)
  • Maidenhair fern (Adiantum spp.)
  • Manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.)
  • Meadow sweet (Astilbe spp.)
  • Mirror plant (Coprosma spp.)
  • Money plant (Lunaria annua)
  • Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia)
  • Mosaic plant (Fittonia spp.)
  • Mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)
  • Mulberry (Morus spp.)

N

  • Nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus)
  • Neoregelia bromeliad (Neoregelia spp.)
  • Nerve plant (Fittonia spp.)

O

  • Orchids (Cattleya spp. Epidendrum spp. Oncidium spp. Paphiopedilum)

P

  • Pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis)
  • Palms ((Most houseplant palms are nontoxic)
    except fishtail palm, Caryota spp.)
  • Palo Verde (Cercidium spp.)
  • Passion vine (Passiflora spp.)
  • Peperomia (Peperomia spp.)
  • Persian violet (Exacum affine)
  • Petunia (Petunia hybrida)
  • Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
  • Photinia (Photinia spp.)
  • Piggy-back plant (Tolmiea menziesii)
  • Pine tree (Pinus spp.)
  • Pink polka-dot plant (Hypoestes spp.)
  • Pittosporum (Pittosporum tobira)
  • Plantain lily (Hosta spp.)
  • Pocketbook plant (Calceolaria spp.)
  • Ponytail plant (Beaucarnea recurvata)
  • Portulaca (Portulaca spp.)
  • Prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura)
  • Purple coneflower (Echinacea spp.)
  • Purple velvet plant (Gynura aurantiaca)

Q

  • Queen’s tears bromeliad (Billbergia spp.)

R

  • Rattlesnake plant (Calathea spp.)
  • Red-hot poker (Kniphofia uvaria)
  • Rockrose (Cistus spp.)
  • Rosary vine (Ceropegia woodii)

S

  • Sage (Salvia spp.)
  • Silk tree (Albizia julibrissin)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum spp.)
  • Spider flower (Cleome hasslerana)
  • Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
  • Spiraea (Spiraea spp.)
  • Spruce (Picea pungens)
  • Star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides)
  • Statice (Limonium spp.)
  • Stonecrop (Sedum spp.)
  • Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo)
  • Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
  • Swedish ivy (Plectranthus spp.)
  • Sweet gum (Liquidambar spp.)
  • Sword fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
  • Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

T

  • Ti plant (Cordyline terminalis)

U

  • Urn plant bromeliad (Aechmea spp.)
    (Other species in the genus may be toxic.)

V

  • Viburnum (Viburnum spp.)
  • Vriesea bromeliad (Vriesea spp.)

W

  • Weigela (Weigela spp.)
  • Willow (Salix spp.)

X

Y

  • Yucca (Yucca spp.)

Z

  • Zinnia (Zinnia spp.)