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A dozen of the deadliest garden plants

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Why we grow it: A close cousin to azaleas and rhododendrons, mountain laurel is a shrub with large, round flower heads ranging from a reddish pink to white in color. It grows in tall thickets that also cover a large area of ground, making it a choice foundation plant to boost curb appeal. Deadly parts: Leaves, twigs, flowers, and pollen.

Toxic toll: Mountain laurel parts are full of andromedotoxins, which go to town on your gastrointestinal tract. Watering of the mouth, eyes, and nose are common, as is shortness of breath and slow heartbeat. Kidney failure can occur, as well as convulsions, paralysis, coma, and death.

Photo by Flickr user James Gaither

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