Ornamental plants are plants grown for decorative purposes in gardens and landscape design projects, house plants, cut flowers, and specimen displays. 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.
5 Toxic Ornamental Plants
Here are the top 5 toxic ornamental plants which are beautiful:
1. Dumb Cane or Dieffenbachia
This is a widespread plant found in houses, schools, and colleges. It is a common plant, and many 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 the throat, mouth, and tongue. It is one of the toxic ornamental plants that look calm and beautiful.
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 that can make you dumb, so be aware of it.
2. Easter Lily or Lilium Longiflorum
Easter lilies are one of the toxic ornamental plants that are the most loved ornamental plants during Easter time. They are a widespread species in the Liliaceous family. Easter lily’s native is Ryukyu Island in Japan and Taiwan. It is trumpet-shaped, white, and fragrant with beautiful outward-facing flowers, making it an ornamental plant.
It is popularly found in gardens worldwide; they are attractive and 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 significant symptoms of poisoning that happen due to Easter lily consumption are abdominal pain, salivation, nausea, shivering, diarrhea, and vomiting.
3. Oleander Nerium
Oleander is one of the toxic ornamental plants, it is a small plant with attractive flowers of bright colors. It is most commonly grown in 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, etc. These attractive flowers are only safe, whereas their leaves are highly toxic.
One single leaf or some mashed seeds consumed by an infant or child is fatal. Symptoms that occur by ingestion of this toxic leaf include 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 the consumption of mashed oleander seeds.
4. Poinsettia Euphorbia Pulcherrima
This plant is the most showcased ornamental plant as it looks beautiful with its stunning red flowers. Its native is the tropical deciduous forest of Mexico. It is also used as a symbol of Christmas. Poinsettia Euphorbia is one of the toxic ornamental plants, also has a wide range of colored flowers like blue, pink, and white.
The poinsettia’s toxicity is mild. Its latex can cause an allergic reaction in 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, it may cause temporary blindness.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera products are meant to be natural and also suitable for skin without side effects. It is the most useful plant, which can also be showcased as an ornamental plant. It is used for treating diabetes, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome and is used extensively in cosmetic companies.
Products such as makeup, soap, sunscreen, and shampoo use Aloe Vera extensively. The gel is the valuable and practical part of 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 amounts, it causes abdominal cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and red urine, which is not blood.