Decorating for the holidays brings lots of festivity and joy, however, some of these decorations can be harmful to our family members including our family pets. Ranging from feeling slightly ill to downright deadly, these are the holiday plants to be aware of their potential danger.
Mistletoe is favored for holiday decor due to its custom of inviting kisses underneath it. All parts of the mistletoe plant are poisonous. Eating 1-2 berries or leaves a small pet could be endangered. If your child or pet eats mistletoe, be sure to seek medical attention immediately.
Amaryllis is a beautiful, showy plant that emerges from a huge bulb. Often sold as gifts during the holiday season, amaryllis comes in a wide array of colors including red, pink, white, pink and white and more. Eating the bulbs (and leaves, though they are less toxic) can cause abdominal pain, cardiac arrhythmias, and convulsions. The plants are more likely to be eaten by pets than children, but the alkaloid poison lycorine is considered toxic to humans, too.
Poinsettias come in a wide range of natural colors including bright red, shades of pink, white, cream, burgundy and even bi colors.
During the holidays, poinsettias are a popular Christmas plant and are mildly toxic to cats and dogs. When ingested, signs of vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea may be seen. If the milky sap is exposed to skin, irritation may develop, causing itching, redness and irritation.
A child can eat 1-2 holly berries (Ilex) without severe harm, but around 20 berries can cause death, so eating holly berries is a serious concern for children and pets. Though the berries are the part that is most commonly eaten, the bark, leaves, and seeds are all toxic.
Daffodil, and paperwhite narcissus bulbs may be forced indoors to produce lovely holiday flowers. Eating the bulbs and leaves can cause abdominal pain, cardiac arrhythmias, and convulsions.
Cyclamen (Primulaceae) is a flowering plant commonly seen around the winter holidays. Flowers are found in colors that range from red to pink to cerise, purple to bi colors, and purest of white,, it is a showy plant indeed. Cyclamen tubers contain triterpinoidsaponins, which can cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, and paralysis. This plant is more of a concern for pets than humans.
The Jerusalem cherry is a species of nightshade that bears beautiful but poisonous fruit. The primary poison is the alkaloid solanocapsine, which can cause gastric upset and vomiting in people. The fruits are extremely toxic to dogs, cats and some birds. The fruit resembles a cherry tomato, both in appearance and flavor, so kids and pets may eat enough to cause illness, or even death.