While most flowers and plants may look harmless, there are a variety of poisonous plants that can be toxic, or even deadly, to humans and animals. It is in the best interest of people to be able to identify at least some of them to avoid coming into contact with them. Poisonous plants are potentially hazardous to all living organisms, which includes not only humans, but also pets, livestock and other animals.
If for some reason a person does get into contact with a poisonous flower or plant, or accidentally ingests one or the other, the first step should be to seek immediate medical help. In order to try to avoid contact, one should familiarize themselves with local plants that are poisonous. Below is a guide that helps to educate about different poisonous plants, for humans and animals, and possible prevention steps and treatments.
Poisonous plants can be found everywhere in the U.S., as well as all over the world. Some of the most common poisonous plants are poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. People most often come into contact with and interact with poisonous plant when out in nature, either hiking or just taking a walk on a weekend afternoon. Children especially are vulnerable to coming into contact with poisonous plants because of how inquisitive they are by nature and how curious they are to touch almost everything. For this reason, it is especially necessary to educate children or at least to watch them quite closely when they are in a situation where they can come into contact with poisonous plants and flowers.
- Poison Ivy: This website from Virginia Tech works as a resource on how to identify poison ivy. It includes numerous pictures to help visitors identify this plant.
- Poison Oak: This website functions as a resource guide on poison oak and includes information on its history, how to treat it, and various photos so people can easily identify it.
- Hazards of Poisonous Plants: This government website features a collection of possible health hazards from poisonous plants.
- Safety Tips on Dealing with Poisonous Plants: This PDF website features information on how to deal with a brush with a poisonous plant.
- Symptoms of Poisonous Plants: This website features pictures and information on how to spot symptoms of poisonous plants.
- Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac Details: This government website provides details on poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak, so that people can be aware of its symptoms, causes and how to treat problems.
- Plants that are Poisonous: This website from the University of Pennsylvania features a glossary and a list of plants by both their common and Latin names.
- Poisonous Plants Guide: This website enables visitors to search a database until they find the specific, poisonous plant they are looking for.
- North Carolina Poisonous Plants: This educational website features a list of poisonous plants in North Carolina, plants like Rosary Pea and California buckeye.
Poisonous Plant for Animals
Human beings are not the only ones who can be affected by poisonous plants. Animals are also at risk for being poisoned by certain plants and flowers. Animals that are particularly vulnerable are domestic pets and livestock like cows, pigs and even horses. It is advised that farmers and others who own land with livestock grazing on it evaluate their property to discover if there are any poisonous plants and flowers on it.
- ASPCA Poisonous Plant for Animals Website: This animal-welfare website collects a list of poisonous plants that have been identified as having a deleterious effect on animals.
- List of Poisonous Plants for Animals: This straightforward website presents a detailed, though incomplete, list of plants that can be poisonous to animals.
- Plants that are Poisonous for Livestock: This website features a database of sorts of all the plants that are poisonous to livestock.
- Plants Poisonous for Goats: This website features a long list of poisonous (as well as non-poisonous) plants for goats on a farm.
- Plants that are Toxic for Cats: This website gives a long list of plants that have been proven to be toxic for cats.
Sometimes, the best approach to preventing something is to be prepared. In the case of poisonous flowers and plants, the best way to prevent from getting poisoned by them is knowing what they look like and being able to identify them. Being able to identify poisonous plants and flowers allows people to avoid them if they see them out in nature. Being able to identify poisonous plants and flowers may mean memorizing how certain plants and flowers look like. Some poisonous plants like poison ivy are relatively easier to identify (due to their commonality) than other poisonous plants.
- Poisonous Plant Prevention: This site gives tips to help kids avoid coming in contact with poisonous plants.
- How to Identify Poisonous Plants: This website informs people on how to spot poisonous plants, so that they may avoid them.
- Identifying Stinging Nettle: This website informs visitors on how to spot a stinging nettle and then avoid it.
Treatment for victims of poisonous plants (either by accidental ingestion or by contact) usually depends on the specific situation of the person. A doctor has to evaluate the specific factors surrounding the poisoned person and then come up with an individualized treatment plan. Treatment can range from common sense measures like not to touch other parts of the body (to avoid contamination and spreading) to applying particular ointment over the problem area. However, serious cases of poisoning by poisonous plants require immediate medical attention, which can include going to one’s personal doctor or even heading to the emergency room.
- How to Treat Poisonous Plants: This website details how people can treat problems by contact with poisonous plants.
- Information Center on Poisonous Plants: This website informs people on how to treat problems caused by poisonous plants.
- How to Treat Poison Oak: This website offers six ways that people can treat poison oak.