10 Poisonous Plants in Florida You MUST To Know

Poisonous plants in Florida are not plants which have mysterious appearance or bitter taste. The plants can be considered as harmful if there are several symptoms you get after directly getting contact to the plants.

There’s a wide variation in the symptoms among poisonous animals, and many common side effects include nausea, vomiting, heart problems, multi organ failure, paralysis, and death.

Therefore, you should check out the poisonous plants to avoid the threat when facing or having this one.

Key Takeaways

  • Florida hosts a variety of plants that are harmful to humans and pets.
  • Contact with these plants can cause symptoms ranging from skin irritation to fatal poisoning.
  • Notable toxic plants include King Sago Palm, Angel’s Trumpet, Rosary Pea, Poison Ivy, and Machineel Tree.
  • Plants like Oleander, Castor Beans, Azalea, Chrysanthemum, and Holly Berries are particularly dangerous to dogs.
  • Knowing and avoiding these plants is crucial, especially for those with children and pets.

Poisonous Plants for Humans in Florida

Although planting is fun, not all beautiful plants are safe for humans. There are various plants that we often find around, yet they can harm us. Therefore, if there are poisonous plants for humans in Florida like we mentioned below, you should pay attention to know how to handle the plants. Especially if there are children in your house.

1. King Sago Palm (Cycas Revoluta)

poisonous plants in florida
King Sago Fruit

Although it looks very similar to a palm tree, King Sago or Cycas revoluta is not a true palm. This plant is native to Japan and southern China, and it is a member of the cycad family. You can find this plant easily in Florida, especially in residential areas because it is often used as landscape plants.

But, you should consider that all parts, particularly the seeds of King Sago contain a pair of toxic compounds, called BMAA and cycasin. It is not only harmful for humans, but also for your pets including dogs. Chronic exposure can cause vomiting, bloody stools, damage to the stomach, liver failure or death.

2. Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia)

poisonous plants in florida
Angel’s Trumpet

If you want to add new plants which have ornamental flowers like Angel’s trumpet or Brugmansia, we might say that you should think twice. Moreover if there are kids in your house. Through its beauty, this plant is a poisonous one in Florida. The flowers have a strong sweet fragrance, it becomes stronger at night and causes your headache, nausea, and light-headedness.

Talking about the parts of this flower shrub, all parts of the plant are toxic. Symptoms may include intense thirst, difficulty with speech and swallowing, vomiting and diarrhea, fever, confusion, hallucinations, delirium, dilated pupils, seizures and coma. Also, avoid eye contact with the sap if you don’t want to get dilated pupils and temporary blindness.

3. Rosary Pea (Abrus Precatorius)

poisonous plants in florida
Rosary Pea Fruit

People often call it crab’s eye pea for the plant in the legume family. The main characteristic for this pea is shiny, and scarlet with black eyes. You often think it looks like a mini ladybug. This poisonous plant is often found in disturbed areas as a weed plant.

The pea is a hard and durable coat, and it can pass through the digestive system without any ill effects. But, the most dangerous one is when the coat is damaged or being chewed, burned or injected to the skin even if in the low dose, since it can cause fatal impact.

4. Poison Ivy

poisonous plants in florida
Poison Ivy

The wild shrubs with trailing growths that unfortunately harm humans. There are some cases where direct contact to Poison Ivy is a common problem and in some people, this dangerous plant may cause severe irritation to skin.

These species may poison the throat when swallowed by humans or when burned. The irritation is at medium level, so then you should see the doctor to get the medicine for your skin irritation because of Poison Ivy plants.

5. Machineel Tree (Hippomane Mancinella)

poisonous plants in florida
Manchineel Leaf

This native evergreen has leaves and fruit that looks like an apple. Even people often call it beach apple. However, it also has the Spanish name, manzanilla de la muerte (“little apple of death”). The plant contains a number of toxins, and eating its fruits could possibly kill you and will most definitely blister your mouth and esophagus.

Furthermore, it is not about the fruits only, because the milky sap of the leaves and bark contains an irritating chemical called phorbol. If you get direct contact with it, then a strong allergic skin reaction will make you suffer.

And the most tricky one is the raindrops falling through the tree can collect phorbol and burn a person standing underneath. That’s why there is a big sign on the tree that this plant is very harmful since the killing attack only by the raindrop is totally not a joke. And even touching the tree can cause the skin to blister.

Poisonous Plants in Florida for Dogs

Dogs often get interested in plants and flowers. The beauty of colors will attract your dogs to smell and even try to eat it. Some plants are safe, but what about the poisonous plants for them? Check out the poisonous plants for dogs in Florida below. Make sure your dogs never touch them.

6. Oleander (Nerium oleander)

poisonous plants in florida
Oleander Bush

Behind the beautiful bright pink colors of the flowers, this stunning plant is poisonous and dangerous for humans. This drought tolerant is available along Florida easily since the flower shrubs can grow with ease.

Unfortunately, all of the parts of these stunning shrubs, including the milky latex produced by cut stems or leaves, contain a variety of cardiotoxic compounds that give a bad impact to your heart function. Yes, oleander plant is poisonous plants in Florida.

The people will get poisoned after eating honey made from oleander flowers, inhaling smoke from burning branches, holding flowers or stems in the mouth, and creating the Oleander for herbs tea or mix it to the tea. Furthermore, you are not allowed to use the cut stem to roast the meat or chicken when camping outside as well.

7. Castor Beans (Ricinus Communis)

poisonous plants in florida
Castor Bean Fruit

If you pay more attention, you will realize that Castor bean or Ricinus communis, is also grown commercially as a source of seed oil used in cosmetics, paints, plastics and lubricants. Therefore, you are familiar with this plant, since in many advertisements, the big brands always mention castor oil as the ingredients of the products.

While in Florida, castor beans have escaped from cultivation and become established throughout the state, particularly in frost-free areas. Moreover, this plant was once popular to cure laxatives and remove any toxic ricin.

In fact, the toxic compound in castor beans, ricin, is toxic in the same way as rosemary peas. Ricin is poorly absorbed by the digestive systems of ruminant livestock.

You might also like:

8. Azalea (Rhododendron)

Azalea Flower
Azalea Flower

Beautiful and amazing Azalea in your garden is stunning to see, particularly for your dogs, you should ensure that the dogs are not eating it. Why? Because only by consuming a few leaves, it can lead to a life-threatening condition.

There is no joke about the impact because the fatal effect is your pet could fall into a coma or possibly die without immediate veterinary care. The symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and excessive drooling. Therefore, if you have a dog and decide to plant the flowers, make sure Azalea is excluded from the list.

9. Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum Indicum)


The beautiful Chrysanthemum is very useful to deter mosquitoes. It has a fragrance that is also used for the essential oil. But, for dog persons, you have to consider more to have this plant, because it contains many compounds that are particularly irritating and dangerous to dogs.

If your dog unintentionally consumes this plant, the symptoms that can happen are vomiting, diarrhea, drooling and in-coordination.

10. Holly Berries (Ilex Opaca)

Holly Berries
Holly Berries

Planting the berry tree in your yard can invite the birds and butterflies coming to the garden. But, you should make sure there will be no berries falling from the trees. To put it simply, the berries of the holly plant are toxic, especially for your dogs and children.

These berries remain attached to the plant while it’s still fresh, but as the plant dries, the berries loosen and may fall off of your décor and onto the floor.

And if your dogs consume it, there is no way to do rather than go to the vets immediately. Since the symptoms are drooling, vomiting and diarrhea, and loss of appetite, you have to train your dogs that this plant is dangerous for them.

Final Thought

Imagine strolling through Florida’s lush landscapes, where beauty masks danger in the form of alluring yet perilous plants. Each leaf and petal, from the deceptive charm of the King Sago Palm to the seductive allure of Angel’s Trumpet, tells a story of hidden risks. This is a call to action for every Floridian and visitor: arm yourself with knowledge, respect nature’s power, and protect your loved ones, both two-legged and four.

Let’s transform admiration into awareness, ensuring our gardens are safe havens, not hidden hazards. Remember, in Florida’s botanical tapestry, the line between stunning and harmful is as delicate as a petal’s edge.

Latest Posts:

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are Poisonous Plants?

Poisonous plants are the plants that can threaten your health and life while you consume, touch, or use it as the mix to the food and beverage. Different plants may cause different symptoms for your body.

You may get vomit, diarrhea, skin irritation or multi organ failure. And for the worst case, it can lead to death. Thus, we already sum up the poisonous plants in Florida that can harm you or your dogs.

What Florida plants cause rashes?

Poison ivy will cause you rashes if you do direct contact with this wild shrub. If you get rashes due to contacting or even consuming the harmful plant, please immediately seek help from the doctors. Because the skin irritation seems not important for everyone, but still, it can cause another impact for your body if it is not being handled properly.

Is poison ivy found in Florida?

Yes, you can find Poison Ivy in Florida. Shady or sunny locations are favorite places for this toxic plant. Since it is a wild plant, you should pay more attention if you go outside. Do not ever try to touch the leaves directly, particularly if you don’t know the name of the plants.

What berries are poisonous in Florida?

Holly berries are poisonous. This plant is the common one that you can find easily. It is the source food for birds and butterflies, but human and pets cannot enjoy the berries, especially dogs, unless you want to get a bad symptoms for your health.

How can you tell if fruit is poisonous?

Usually, the smell is unpleasant and too strong even if you are not that close to the trees. Or you may check whether it is edible or toxic by placing a small amount of fruits to your inner elbow for a few minutes and see how your skin reacts. If your skin turns red, itchy and rash, you can tell that the fruit is not edible and can harm your health. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *