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A dozen of the deadliest garden plants

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Why we grow it: The large, pink, blue, or white flower clusters on these shade-loving shrubs perk up any landscape, blooming at the start of summer and into the fall. (See tips for growing gorgeous hydrangeas on This Old House.)

Deadly parts: The entire plant, especially the flower buds.

Toxic toll: Swallowing hydrangea is like popping a cyanide pill. The present poison, hydragin, is a cyanogenic glycoside, meaning it will cause shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, and a rapid pulse, along with a drop in blood pressure that can cause convulsions and death.

Photo by Flickr user Mauricio Mercadante

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants

April 1, 2013

Your garden may be a relaxing retreat, but it's not a place to let your guard down, especially when it comes to small children and your family's pets. Some popular plants you prize for their ornamental beauty can turn into toxic killers within minutes if ingested, whether consumed out of curiosity or by mistake. With this list you'll know what flowers, shrubs and berries to warn young, inquisitive minds about and which bushes and flowers to keep out of paw's reach. You'll also learn the symptoms of poisoning because—after prevention—rapid treatment is the only defense against death. | By Danielle Blundell, This Old House Online

Also from This Old House:


 Plants to attract beautiful native birds
 Early-spring yard checklist
 Best plants for a healthy, organic garden