Home Food For Thought Environment Top 5 Ornamental Plants Which Are Beautiful,Yet Toxic

Top 5 Ornamental Plants Which Are Beautiful,Yet Toxic

Easter Lily
By Africa Studio/ Shutterstock

Ornamental plants are plants that are grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, house plants, for cut flowers and specimen display. The cultivation of these plants is called floriculture and it also forms a major branch of horticulture. Ornamental plants are beautiful, colorful, decorative, impressive and attractive. But few of them are also dangerous.Here are 5 ornamental plants which are beautiful, yet toxic:

  1. Dumb cane or Dieffenbachia              

    By Farhad Ibrahimzade/ Shutterstock

This is an extremely common plant found in houses, schools, colleges, it is a common plant and many of them don’t even know that it is toxic. Dieffenbachia contains oxalic acid, which is a sour acid. It contains tiny needle shaped crystals called calcium oxalate which is toxic. When a leaf is chewed, these crystals will cause an extreme burning sensation in throat, mouth and in the tongue. This might also cause temporary vocal cord paralysis, Thus the name “dumb cane”.  Ingestion of this leaf is not fatal; it is even more painful and debilitating. Other symptoms may also include excessive drooling, deficiency in speaking and swallowing, vomiting, localized swelling, diarrhea and nausea. Thus dumb cane or dieffenbachia is a plant which can make you dumb, so be aware of it.

2. Easter lily or Lilium Longiflorum

By Africa Studio/ Shutterstock

 Easter lilies are the most loved ornamental plants during Easter time. They are very common species in the Liliaceous family. Easter lily’s native is Ryukyu Island of Japan and Taiwan. It is popularly found in gardens all over the world. It has a trumpet-shaped, white, and fragrant with outward facing beautiful flowers which, makes it be an ornamental plant. Although they are attractive, they are poisonous. Especially for cats to an extreme level. Easter lily is also toxic to humans as it contains Alkaloids Lycorine in the bulb and stems. The major symptoms of poisoning which happen due to consumption of Easter lily are abdominal pain, salivation, nausea, shivering, diarrhea, vomiting.

3. Oleander Nerium 

By Krasimir Kanchev/ Shutterstock

Oleander is a small plant with attractive flowers of bright colors. It is most commonly grown in the southwest Asia. Extensively used as an ornamental plant in landscapes, pots along roadsides. Oleander flowers are showy and fragrant. They might have a wide range of colors like red, purple, pink, orange white and many more. These attractive flowers are only safe, whereas its leaves are highly toxic. One single leaf or some mashed seeds of it consumed by an infant or child is fatal. Symptoms which occur by ingestion of this toxic leaf would be stomach pain, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, tremors, poor circulation of extremities, pupil dilation, coma, death and suicidal depression.  This plant is meant to be extremely dangerous as it’s commonly found and many suicide cases have also been registered for consumption of mashed oleander seeds.

4. Poinsettia Euphorbia Pulcherrima  

This plant is the most showcased ornamental plant as it looks beautiful with its astonishing red flowers. Its native is to be the tropical deciduous forest of Mexico. It is also used as a symbol of Christmas. Poinsettia Euphorbia also has a wide range of colored flowers like blue, pink and white. The poinsettia’s toxicity is mild. It’s latex can cause an allergic reaction for sensitive individuals.  If it is eaten, it can also mildly irritate the skin or stomach which may sometimes cause diarrhea and vomiting. If the sap is introduced into the human eye by any chance it may cause temporary blindness.

By banu sevim/ Shutterstock

5. Aloe Vera              It is the most useful plant which can also be showcased as an ornamental plant. It is used for treating diabetes, heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome and can see its extensive usage in cosmetic companies. Aloe Vera products are meant to be natural and also good for skin without side effects. Products such as makeup, soap, sunscreen, shampoo uses Aloe Vera extensively. The gel is the useful and effective part in it but inside the leaves is covered a thin layer of Aloin and Anthraquinone c- glycoside which is highly toxic. If this layer is consumed in large amount it causes abdominal cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and red urine which are not actually blood.


About the author

Yashasvini is an engineering, student. She is a pet lover and interested to do new things. She is a beginner who loves penning about all sorts of topics because she likes to learn about everything that she is capable of.



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