“Steer Clear: Harmful Plants and Flowers That Shouldn’t Be Kept Inside”

According to Dr. Ngo Quang Hai, an expert in plant pharmacology, some common houseplants and flowers can be toxic and pose a danger to people’s health. For instance, the bird’s nest flower, which is popular in Northern regions and often grown indoors, contains toxic diterpenoid alkaloids such as methyllycaconitine. In fact, in some countries like India, the bird’s nest seeds are used as an insecticide. Meanwhile, the canary flower is also poisonous, with the shoots in spring being the most toxic part. Even small amounts of the alkaloid delphinine can cause vomiting, while 2mg of alkaloids can be fatal for adults. Pets like dogs and cats can suffer from vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, and convulsions if they ingest these toxic plants. Therefore, it’s best not to grow them indoors to prevent any accidental ingestion by children or pets.


Larkspur is not the only potentially harmful plant to be aware of when keeping indoor flora. Other common plants, such as hydrangeas, azaleas, and daffodils, can also pose a risk to human health if ingested. Although hydrangeas are renowned for their beauty and symbolism of love, their leaves and roots contain hydragin-cyanogenic glycosides that can cause digestive issues, breathing difficulties, and vomiting. Azaleas are particularly dangerous, as all parts of the plant contain toxic substances that can result in nausea, drooling, lethargy, and other symptoms, with just a small amount being enough to severely poison a child. Daffodils, on the other hand, are known for their bright and cheery appearance, but their bulbs contain toxic alkaloids that can cause convulsions, diarrhea, and other unpleasant side effects. It’s worth noting that the level of toxicity can also vary depending on the age of the plant, with different symptoms manifesting before and after the plant has flowered. For these reasons, it’s important to exercise caution when selecting and caring for indoor plants, and to always keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Daffodils contain poison, do not decorate the house.

Daffodils, while beautiful, should not be used as house decorations due to their poisonous nature. The Oleander, on the other hand, is extremely toxic, with the entire plant containing dangerous substances like oleandrin and neriin. Touching or ingesting any part of the tree can lead to symptoms ranging from mild nausea and vomiting to severe loss of control and even death. Cooking or drying the plant does not reduce its toxicity. It’s essential not to plant Oleander near water sources like wells and water tanks as falling leaves and flowers can lead to water poisoning. Perennial Youth trees contain calcium oxalate that causes irritation and burning sensation in sensitive skin. Swallowing the substance leads to various symptoms like dizziness, abdominal pain, and nausea. Bird of Heaven’s flowers and seeds cause intestinal toxicity leading to discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, and burning tongue. Ornamental sport, another plant, contains toxins such as calcium oxalate and asparagine that lead to itching and burns in the mouth and intestinal mucosa upon ingestion.

Ornamental tree.  Photo: Dengarden

The ornamental tree is not as harmless as it may seem. It actually contains gucosides, which can be extremely harmful to the human body. Ingesting this substance can cause unpleasant symptoms such as fatigue, diarrhea, and respiratory problems. In severe cases, it can even make breathing difficult and affect heart rate regulation. So, it’s best to avoid eating any part of this tree.

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