Poisonous Plants: Lily-of-the-Valley, Poison Ivy, and Foxglove (Digitalis)
Danger! Lily-of-the-Valley, Foxglove, And Poison Ivy Are All Poisonous Plants
Be very careful when you are gardening!
Here you will learn how to recognize some poisonous plants. It's hard to believe how noxious these innocent-looking plants are. Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis), Poison Ivy, and Foxglove (Digitalis) can cause immense discomfort and possibly death.
Here you will not only see what the plants look like, so that you can identify them, but there are also some photographs of precisely how badly skin can be affected by poisonous ivy. They are a bit lurid, but you can just skim over them if you don't like to look at nasty skin allergy pictures
As I have myself suffered from severe skin burning from hellebore sap, I feel impelled to preach about poisonous plants, and there is no better health warning than showing people what can result from touching innocuous-looking plants. So, no apologies—if it saves just one person from pain and suffering, then I have done what I have set out to do.
Lily-of-the-Valley (Convaleria Majalis)
Lily of the Valley is a popular garden plant, known for its sweetly scented flowers in late Spring, and for its ground-covering abilities in shady locations.
It contains about 20 poisonous glycosides, including convalatoxin, convalarin, convalamarin, and saponins.
All parts of the lily of the valley, including the berries, are highly toxic.
Strong headache, nausea, vomiting, slow Irregular heart beat and pulse, usually accompanied by mental confusion.
Do not make the person vomit. Get medical help immediately because the heart symptoms could be fatal.
Foxglove Also Known As Digitalis
Foxglove Also Known As Digitalis Purpurea
Digitalis or Foxglove is Summer flowering
The bell-shaped flowers may be pink, yellow, white or purple, and some cultivars are speckled. The beautiful flowers of Digitalis or Foxglove are borne on short stems in the first year, and in later years on tall stems which may reach three to four ft. high. It grows well in semi-shade and is self-seeding, so can become invasive in the garden.
Foxglove contains digitoxin - one of several cardiac glycosides in the plant—which is extremely toxic to humans and some animals and can cause death.
Poisonous Parts: All parts of Digitalis are poisonous, including leaves, flowers and seeds.
Symptoms of Poisoning: Major disturbances to heartbeat and slow pulse, abdominal pains, vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea, visual disturbance and cardiac arrest, which may be fatal.
Treatment of Digitalis Poisoning: In an emergency, assist breathing as needed and get professional medical help.
Medical Use: Digitalis may be used as medication for heart failure, causing the heart to beat more strongly.
Poison Ivy Can Cause A Severe Allergic Reaction, But Is Seldom Fatal
Poison ivy is a very common plant in America (although rare in Europe), and most people are allergic to it.
One form of poison ivy grows low to the ground, 6 inches to 30 inches high, usually in groups. The other form is a "hairy" vine that climbs up round a tree. Both have stems with 3 leaves, hence the saying "Leaflets three, let it be."
The poison ivy plant contains an oil called urushiol which bonds to skin when it comes in contact with it. The allergic reaction results in an itchy, red rash. It can arise by touching the plant itself, or touching anything which may have come into contact with the plant, such as clothing, shoes, gardening tools and pets, if they have been contaminated by the poison oil.
Even burning the poison ivy plant may cause an allergic reaction, as the oil from the plant is carried in the smoke.If the smoke then inhaled, this rash will appear on the lining of the lungs, causing extreme pain and possibly fatal respiratory difficulty.
If poison ivy is eaten, damage may be caused to the digestive tract, airway, kidneys or other organs.
In rare cases, poison ivy reactions may require hospitalization.
A rash will usually begin to appear 1 to 2 days after contact with urushiol. The affected area will become red and swollen; a day or so later, small blisters will form, and the rash will become very itchy. The blisters should not be scratched, in case bacteria under the finger nails get into the blisters and cause further infection. After about a week, the blisters will normally start to dry up and the rash will start to go away but in severe cases, where the poison rash covers large parts of the body, it may take much longer.
The skin area contaminated with Urushiol, which bonds to the skin within minutes, should be washed in cold water as soon as possible to wash away the oil. Products that contain solvents such as mineral oil (brand names: Technu, Zanfel) can also be used to remove urushiol from the skin.Because urushiol can remain active for several years , anything which has come into contact with it should also be washed, such as clothes, shoes, tools and camping, sporting, fishing or hunting equipment.
The poison ivy rash it will disappear in 1 to 3 weeks. Itching may be relieved by hydrocortisone cream (brand name: Cortizone-10), calamine lotion, antihistamine tablets (one brand name: Benadryl). or oatmeal baths.
A doctor should be called if you have a fever over 100 F (37.8 C), or the rash covers large areas of your body, or the rash is in your eyes, mouth or on your genital area, or there is pus coming from the blisters or the rash does not get better after a few days.
Look Away Now
If you don't want to see horrible pictures of the effects of poisoning allergy by poison ivy.
Photos Showing The Physical Effects Of Poisoning By Poison Ivy--Not A Pretty SightClick thumbnail to view full-size
With Poisoning, The Most Important Thing Is To Get Medical Help Immediately
This may help to limit the symptoms.
Take The Poll Below About Poisonous Plants
It was only when I started doing research about poisonous plants that I realized that quite a few plants that people grow in their garden could make you quite ill, even if they don't actually cause death.
What was your state of knowledge about poisonous plants before you read this page, and has it increased? I assume you knew that poison ivy is poisonous because of its name, but what about the other two innocent-looking plants?
Did You Already Know That Lily-of-the-Valley And Foxglove Are Poisonous?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.