These Plants Can Kill

Below is just a sample of the poisonous plants that can place a child's life at risk. In cases of suspected poisoning, you can get advice 24 hours a day from the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.


  • Find out if any plants in your garden are poisonous, remove them or keep children well away from them.
  • Contact the Poisons Information Centre if your child becomes sick after eating part of a plant.
  • You can get more detailed information on poisonous plants from Kidsafe Tasmania. Simply contact us.
Poisonous Plant Description Symptoms Image
Apple The leaves of the apple tree and seeds in the fruit itself are dangerous if eaten in large amounts. Contains the chemical cyanide.
Arum Lily All parts of these common white lilies will cause burning in the mouth if eaten. Serious illness is uncommon as the burning prevents large quantities from being consumed. Burning mouth, skin rash.
Castor Oil Plant Only the chewed seeds are dangerous, however 2-3 seeds can cause death. Burning mouth and throat, bloody diarrhoea 3-36 hours after ingestion. Rapid and feeble pulse, muscular cramps in calves and abdomen and bluish discolouration of skin.  
Daphne All parts of this common ornamental shrub are poisonous, especially the berries. The fragrant pink and white flowers can be very attractive to children. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea; burning sensation in mouth and stomach.  
Deadly Nightshade The round purple//black berries are appealing to children and highly toxic. Dry throat, thirstiness, palpitations and flushed dry skin.  
Hemlock Hemlock is a very common plant and all parts are poisonous. Can cause neuro-muscular block, low blood pressure, heart contraction and unconsciousness leading to death.
Lily of Valley All parts of this attractive garden plant are poisonous. The fruit are globular red berries about 12mm in diameter. Nausea, vomiting, headache, an excessive flow of saliva and eventually heart failure.
Oleander All parts of this plant, with flowers ranging from white to pink, apricot and red are poisonous. Vomiting, stomach pain, blood stained faeces, dizziness, irregular heartbeat and unconsciousness. Death results from heart failure or respiratory paralysis.
Poinsettia A popular pot plant with bright red, white or yellow leaves. Has a white milky sap. The sap can cause extreme irritation to the skin and eyes. All parts are poisonous if eaten and can cause severe vomiting, purging, delirium, and can lead to death.  
Potato The green skin of this food is highly toxic. Severe vomiting and diarrhoea.

Read more about growing up safely.