Poisonous Garden Plants: Iris, Azalea, Hydrangea
Are you aware that the iris, azalea and hydrangea are considered to be toxic plants?
Most people know about the very poisonous plants like mistletoe, deadly nightshade and poison ivy, but as a safety precaution, you should also know about other toxic plants like iris, azalea and hydrangea which might not necessarily kill, but could still poison someone and make them feel very ill.
Paradoxically, many potentially harmful plants, including Irises, are also considered to have healing properties.
Danger Alert! Iris, Azalea and Hydrangea are Poisonous Plants
Be Aware of Which Plants are Poisonous
THAT WAY YOU CAN PROTECT
YOUR CHILDREN AND FAMILY!
Poisonous Plant Iris at Chelsea Flower Show
Poisonous Plant: Iris (Flag)
The bulbs of irises are poisonous, possibly only mildly so.
Irises contain the potentially toxic compounds irisin, iridin, or irisine.
Bulb, leaves, and stem
Symptoms of Poisoning:
The gastrointestinal tract may become affected by the glycoside iridin, causing nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and fever. Also Iris can cause skin irritation or dermatitis.
In ancient times Egyptians would grind together salt, small doses of dried iris, mint and pepper, to make a substance for cleaning the teeth. Recent research has shown that the iris really does have beneficial properties and a preparation made from iris is effective in combatting gum disease.
Poisonous Plant Azalia
Poisonous Plant: Azalea - Are Azaleas Poisonous to Humans? Yes They Are
Azaleas are a sub species of the Rhododendron family. Azaleas and Rhododendrons are ornamental shrubs, grown for their clusters of spectacularly bright and showy flowers and evergreen foliage.
They have potentially toxic leaves and flowers and even the honey from their flowers can be poisonous.
Flowers and leaves contain glycosides, but particularly andromedotoxin. This is a volatile resin which burns the mouth, and thus usually discourages potential victims from consuming dangerous quantities of the leaves.
The human digestive tract is capable of breaking down small doses of andromedotoxins into harmless compounds, so human fatalities from eating these plants are rare. However, victims who consume a lot suffer from nausea, vomiting, abdominal upset, and low blood pressure.
People who regularly eat affected honey may also suffer similar chronic symptoms .
Poisonous Plant: Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) - Who Would Have Thought That Hydrangea is a Poisonous Plant?
Hydrangea (botanical name: Hydrangea macrophylla) is a plant which is poisonous to humans, although not usually deadly.
Leaves, buds, flowers, and bark.The poisonous component is Hydragin.
stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating,diarrhoea,lethargy and, in severe cases, more serious problems like labored breathing, convulsions and coma.
Sensitive people may develop contact dermatitis from handling the plants.
Doctors will try to replace your fluids, help you breath more easily and administer drugs to bring back your normal heart rhythm.
Would you know what to do if a child or pet ate a poisonous plant?
If you Have Irises, Azaleas or Hydrangeas in Your Garden, Don't Panic
I would just mention that I have all these plants in my garden, and have never experienced any adverse effects, and neither has my cat, or anyone I know.
So what can we conclude from this?
Have I been extra careful?
No - until I started researching, I had no idea that these plants were poisonous. I've been aware since I was a child that plants with white sap, like poinsettias, are poisonous, and I learned the hard way that hellebores are poisonous, but these particular beauties - never!
Have I just been lucky?
I will have to answer yes to that. So what do we put my good fortune down to?
All I can say is that I have planted them, touched them, nurtured them and even pruned them without developing any of the symptoms described above. Maybe some people are just more sensitive to noxious substances than I am.....and, of course, I always wash my hands after gardening, and I'm not inclined to lick my fingers or rub my eyes after touching any plants, whether or not I believe they are poisonous.
Has that saved me from being poisoned? Hard to say. But it does seem to be good advice generally.
Questions & Answers
I trimmed my hydrangea back and there were numerous dead stalks sticking up. I reached down to clear the old leaves and the stalks ripped my skin in several places. I developed cellulities and a skin rash. Did the dead hydrangea stalks cause this?
Hydrangeas can cause skin problems on some people. Certainly, if the skin rash and cellulitis occurred exactly where your skin was ripped, then it does seem likely that hydrangea was the cause. As I said in my article, the poisonous parts are leaves, buds, flowers, and bark.The poisonous component is Hydragin.
According to Healthline : "Cellulitis occurs when certain types of bacteria enter through a cut or crack in the skin. Cellulitis is commonly caused by Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria."
I won't go into more detail here, but the upshot is that you should see your doctor as cellulitis can be serious.
I'm growing irises and companion planting with mandarins to see the effect of water retention in the roots, as well as the potential effect on fruiting. What do you think?
I have never heard of irises being used as companion plants, but it is probably worth a try, just as an experiment.