Poisonous Plants

Please click on one of the links below to view the poisonous plants within that category

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Arum Lily

Zantedeschia aethiopica

Description
Creamy-white, hood-shaped flower with a yellow spadix. Arrow-shaped leaves. Can grow to nearly 1m (3ft) tall. Flowers May - June

Symptoms
Entire plant is toxic. Nausea and vomiting

Animals Mainly Affected
All

B

Black Locust

Robinia pseudoacacia

Description
Tree with blackish bark. Leaves usually have short thorns at the base. White flowers trailing for 8-20cm.

Symptoms
Bark, leaves and seeds are toxic. Causes staggering and paralysis.

Animals Mainly Affected
Horses, cattle, poultry, sheep, goats

Black Locust 

Black locust - J. Samanek, Bugwood.org

Black Locust flowers

Black locust flowers - J. Samanek, Bugwood.org

Bracken

Pteridium aquilinum

Description
Large green triangular fronds. Widespread and invasive

Symptoms
Entire plant is toxic, even when dry.Blood loss, ulceration, blindness in ruminants – staggering, weight loss, constipation in horses, jaw tumours in sheep.

Sheep and cattle normally avoid it.

Animals Mainly Affected
Horses, sheep, cattle, pigs

bracken

Bracken - C. Evans, Bugwood.org

C

Cocklebur

Xanthium strumarium

Description
Tall plant with spiky leaves – seedlings have smooth leaves and so palatable.

50-120cm tall – flowers July – September

Symptoms
Seedlings and seeds toxic. Causes depression, vomiting and weakness. Death can be rapid.

Animals Mainly Affected
Cattle, pigs

cocklebur sappling

Cocklebur sappling - J. D. Byrd, Bugwood.org

cocklebur

Cocklebur - F.&K. Starr, Bugwood.org

Creeping Buttercup

Ranunculus repens

Description
Small yellow flowers – same as normal buttercup, but with runners

Symptoms
Entire plant is toxic. Poison strongest when plant is flowering. Can severely injure digestive system (inflamation, diarrhoea) and can cause dermatitis.

Animals Mainly Affected
Grazing animals

creeping buttercup

Creeping buttercup - R. Old, Bugwood.org

D

Deadly Nightshade

Atropa belladonna

Description
2-5 ft tall with branched stems. Large dull purple flowers in June – August. Purple to black berries. Very rare.

Symptoms
Entire plant is toxic. Causes intense digestive disturbances, dilated pupils, inflamed mucus membranes, nervous excitement, inability to stand.

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep, horses, goats

E

Elderberry

Sambucus nigra

Description
Shrub or small tree – clusters or small white or cream flowers in Spring, followed by umbrella shaped clusters of berries (red-black).

Symptoms
Leaves, stems, roots, unripe berries are toxic.Nausea, vomiting & diarrhoea.

Animals Mainly Affected
Cattle, goats

elderberry

Elderberry - T. Webster, Bugwood.org

F

Foxglove

Digitalis purpurea

Description
Tall plant with bell-shaped flowers – can grow to 1.5m.

Symptoms
Entire plant is toxic. Cardiovascular system and gastrointestinal tract affected.

Animals Mainly Affected
All

foxglove

Foxglove - G. Wojciech, Bugwood.org

H

Hemlock

Conium maculatum

Description
Tall plant – up to 2m, with white flowers. Purple blotches on light-green stems, unpleasant smell when bruised.

Symptoms
Very dangerous even in small doses – death within hours. Causes, trembling, salivation, weakness. Can also cause birth defects.

Animals Mainly Affected
All

hemlock 

Hemlock - S. Dewey, Bugwood.org

hemlock flowers

Hemlock flowers - J. D. Byrd, Bugwood.org

Henbane

Hyoscyamus niger (black) / albus (white)

Description
Large yellow and purple flowers in June – August. – can grow to 31 inches tall. White hairs on stems and unpleasant smell. Common in coastal locations.

Symptoms
Nausea, vomiting, trembling, possible blindness. Also toxic in hay when dried. Poisonings are rare due to the unpleasant smell.

Animals Mainly Affected
Cattle, horses, sheep, pigs

henbane

Henbane - M. E. Harte, Bugwood.org

Honeysuckle

Lonicera periclymenum

Description
Climbing plant with cream and pink scented flowers.

Symptoms
Plant and berries toxic. Can produce severe vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy.

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep

I

Ivy

Hedera helix

Description
Climbing plant with glossy evergreen leaves.

Symptoms
Entire plant is toxic, but berries are more toxic than leaves. Causes vomiting, diarrhoea, muscular spasms and paralysis.

Animals Mainly Affected
All

ivy

Ivy - J. H. Miller, Bugwood.org

L

Laburnum

Laburnum anagyroides

Description
Small tree with long chains of pea-like yellow flowers in May - June.

Symptoms
Entire tree is toxic. Abdominal & muscular pain, salivation and diarrhoea.

Animals Mainly Affected
All

Larkspur

Consolida ajacis

Description
Tall plant with blue flowers at the top – 25-60cm tall.

Symptoms
Young plants and seeds are toxic. Causes digestive upset, nervousness, depression, breathing difficulties, abdominal pain, musular spasms, difficulty standing and can affect the cardiovascular system. Can also cause dermatitis. Very common in USA.

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep, cattle, cats

Lesser Celandine

Ranunculus ficaria

Description
Small yellow flowers found on banks and hedgerows in early spring – very common – flowers February to May

Symptoms
Causes skin irritation

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep, horses, cattle

lesser celandine 

Lesser celandine - L. J. Mehrhoff, Bugwood.org

M

Marsh Marigold

Caltha palustris

Description
Yellow flowers in Spring and early summer. Large kidney-shaped dark green leaves. Found in wet, boggy land.

Symptoms
Irritating for animal and can cause blisters. Toxins lost by drying, so not toxic in hay. Toxic if eaten – diarrhoea, colic, occassionally blindness and death if large quantities eaten.

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep, horses, cattle

marsh marigold

Marsh marigold - J. O'Brien, Bugwood.org

Monkshood (Wolfsbane)

Aconitum variegatum

Description
Dark green leaves arranged alternately along the stem. Tall plant topped with blue, purple, white, yellow or pink hooded flowers with multiple stamen.

Symptoms
Entire plant is very toxic (but rare).

Causes colic, paralysis and repiratory problems – death can be sudden.

Animals Mainly Affected
Cattle, goats, horses

O

Oak

Quercus robur

Description
Large deciduous tree with dark green serrated leaves.

Symptoms
Leaves and acorns toxic.

Symptoms can include constipation, blood stained faeces, weakness and staggering, slow heart beat, watery eyes and damage to the kidneys in severe cases.

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep, horses

oak

Oak - G. Wojciech, Bugwood.org

R

Ragwort

Senecio jacobaea

Description
Tall plant with clusters of small yellow flowers – 30-100cm tall

Symptoms
Entire plant is toxic. Also toxic in hay once dried. Causes liver damage, kidney failure, slow death. Dispose of plant by digging up and burning.

Animals Mainly Affected
Most animals, mainly: sheep, horses, cattle, dogs

ragwort 

Ragwort - R. Old, Bugwood.org

ragwort flowers

Ragwort flowers - R. Old, Bugwood.org

Rhododendron

Rhododendron ponticum

Description
Shrubs or trees, ranging from 30cm to 30m tall. Large dark green leathery leaves with clusters of large rosette style flowers.

Symptoms
Hypotension and respiratory depression, excessive salivation, abdominal pain and staggering.Unpalatable to most grazing animals.

Animals Mainly Affected
Cattle, sheep

W

Wood Anemone

Anemone nemorosa

Description
Small, white flowers with yellow stamens.
Found in woodland in Spring.

Symptoms
Gastrointestinal irritation

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep

wood anemone 

Wood anemone -G. Wojciech, Bugwood.org

Woody Nightshade

Solanum dulcamara

Description
Common inhedgerows. Purple flowers with yellow centres – flowers June - September.

Symptoms
Nausea, vomiting, nervous excitement, rapid pulse and respirartion, dilated pupils, staggering.

Animals Mainly Affected
Sheep, horses

woody nightshade 

Woody nightshade - D. Cappaert, Bugwood.org

woody nightshade

Woody nightshade berries - J. Cardina, Bugwood.org

Y

Yew

Taxus baccata

Description
Dense, evergreen tree with red berries – UK native.

Symptoms
Berries and foliage toxic. Mainly kills farm animals in winter. Causes digestive distubances, dizziness, abdominal cramping, salivation and vomiting. Death can be sudden with no symptoms.

Animals Mainly Affected
Mainly farm animals, horses

yew

Yew - C. Evans, Bugwood.org

Share