Many hundreds of species of poisonous plants grow in the United States. Some of the most beautiful trees, shrubs, vegetables, and vines are poisonous under certain conditions. They provide shade, colorful flowers, or food, but parts of the plant (sap, leaves, seed, flowers, stems) may also contain toxic compounds. Using this publication, you will learn how to identify plants associated with poisonings and other health problems. Included is a table of poisonous plants commonly found around the home and garden and instructions on making a plant identification file.
The table lists plants alphabetically by scientific name and includes common names of plants and, for most plants, the following toxicity information: the name of the toxin, which part of the plant contains the toxin, and the human body part or parts that are affected by the toxin.
This publication is based on “Poisonous Plants,” by J. A. Alsop and J. F. Karlik, chapter 20
in D. Pittenger, ed., California Master Gardener Handbook, 2nd ed.
This is a free publication that you can download.
This publication requires the free Adobe® Acrobat® Reader. You can download a free copy of the Acrobat Reader from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Some users have experienced problems using Preview® with these documents; we recommend using the Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.