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Poisonous Plants

January 23, 2015

Poisonous plants are in!….Very in!  Alnwick Castle in Northumberland (used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies) now has a two-acre poison garden…everything in it is poisonous.  PastedGraphic-1 As an aside, I pronounced every letter in Alnwick, but was corrected by those who “Brit-speak”… seems it is pronounced Ann-ic (rhymes with panic) and has silent L, W, and K. Back to the Castle…the poisonous plants are used as a educational and suggestion-making resource for visitors and some of the plants have a license from the Home Office to be “in public.”

There are many web sites  – Witches’ gardens, (U.S. & Australia), Live Science’s Top 10 Poisonous Plants (their #1 is Narcissus, #10 is Wisteria), University of California’s

Narcissus - #1 on LiveScience (

Narcissus – #1 on LiveScience (

Safe and Poisonous Garden Plants (common name order & scientific name order)… what fun… Univ. of Cal. rates the plants 1 to 4 with 4 being rashes and 1 being serious illness or death – toast! – our beloved coral trees on San Vicente Boulevard rate as a 1….and there are 3 Deadly Nightshade genera and a Death Camas on the list (which are all 1’s).

My favorite site is GreenBuzzz’s Nine Most Toxic Plants for Humans.

For example:  #1 is The Calamitous Castor Bean Plant which can be seen in an occasional garden and in Malibu Creek State Park; #4 is The popular, poisonous Oleander plant, found all over Los Angeles and on freeway dividers;  #6 is The not-so-jolly Jimson weed plant, also know as the Devil’s Trumpet found in many gardens….. you get the idea…

Oleander (GreenBuzzz)

Oleander – Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat

So… take this number 1-800-222-1222 – the National Poison Control Center, keep an eye on pets, friends, and grandchildren and think twice about some of those “pretty plants” in your house and garden.   [Ellen Vahan]

One Comment
  1. January 26, 2015 11:23 pm

    I love this article on poisonous plants. Thanks very much. Lynn Bossone


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