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Spring Plants

Most Illinois spring plants are not toxic. However, there are a few plants that you should keep away from youngsters.

Toxic Plants

  • Lily of the Valley blooms from late spring to early summer and contains a toxin that mainly affects the heart (cardiac glycoside). A small taste of a leaf or flower by a child is unlikely to cause anything more than an upset stomach. If more could have been swallowed, best to call the IPC!
  • Spring Rhododendrons contain grayanotoxins that affect transmission among muscle or nerve cells in the body.  Luckily, a taste of a rhododendron flower or leaf is unlikely to cause any toxicity.  Larger amounts of plant material would be needed to cause the more concerning symptoms such as numbness or tingling.  Still best to keep the kiddos away from this one!

Skin, Mouth and Stomach Irritants

  • Bleeding Heart is a unique looking plant that can cause skin irritation or stomach upset if swallowed.
  • Daffodils can cause nausea, vomiting and potentially some mouth or skin irritation.
  • Spurges can cause skin irritation or nausea and vomiting.  Spurges are actually part of the large Euphorbia genus that also contains the Poinsettia plant.
  • Tulips are mainly known for causing skin irritation and a rash with skin contact, but could also cause minor stomach upset if swallowed.

Nontoxic Plants

  • Flowering quince
  • Forsythia
  • Lilac
  • Magnolia
  • Phlox
  • Serviceberry