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A dozen of the deadliest garden plants

Purple Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)

Why we grow it: Though rarely cultivated, the curvy, greenish-purple blooms are sometimes grown for their upright habit and eye-catching, shiny berries. Native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, it has naturalized in parts of North America, favoring shady, moist locations with limestone-rich soils.

Deadly parts: The entire plant, particularly its berries, roots, and leaves.

Toxic toll: Don't mess with this one—pop a handful of berries in your mouth, and you'll physically be unable to call for help. After you lose your voice, respiratory complications, intense digestive disruption, and violent convulsions begin, the combination of which has proven fatal.

Photo by Flickr user peganum

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