Poisonous plants in Alabama are ones that can be utilized as decorative plants, but they may be deadly to dogs, children, and birds. As a result, it is best to avoid growing these plants and to stay at a safe distance from them when they bloom naturally.

Poisonous Plants in Alabama to Avoid

In order for them to do so, however, you must first understand which plants are hazardous and should be avoided in Alabama. This post will teach you about these plants, so read the descriptions below, so keep reading in order to have a deeper insight about these greens.

List of Poisonous Plants in Alabama

1. Poison Sumac

Growing Season
  • Summer
  • Spring
Leaf Shape
  • Pointy
  • Oval
Specific Needs
  • Wet soil
  • Part or full sunlight
Common Pests
  • Aphids
  • Spider mites

Poison sumac is a native shrub found throughout Alabama, this tree could be found in a number of areas, as it would grow wildly without anyone having to plant is. What is significant about it is that this tree has the ability to can grow up to ten feet tall and has leaves with about ten leaflets that turn red in the fall. The leaves alternate on the stems and are coated with white beaded drops of urushiol, an allergenic oil, this oil would cause a great stress in your body.

A Plant to Steer Clear Of

To elaborate further, these droplets cause red skin lesions and intense itching upon contact. On the other hand, when they are ingested, it can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or even death, of course if the quantity is greater, the intoxication would go to a further step. As such, people should be aware of poison sumac when outdoors and take necessary precautions when handling this plant.

2. Poison Oak

Growing Season Spring
Leaf Shape Rounded/irregular
Specific Seeds
  • Full sunlight
  • Moist soil
Common Pests
  • Spider mites
  • Whiteflies

Poison oak is a woody perennial shrub native to North America, one of the states that is found in is the state of Alabama. It thrives in sunny areas and open woods, particularly along roadsides and recently logged areas, which means that it is common to face this tree. With trifoliate leaflets and a distinctive “hairy” appearance, poison oak can be identified by its clustered yellow or white berries in summer and fall, in addition to this, all parts of this oak are considered to be dangerous.

Allergen in the Great Outdoors

Its main toxins are urushiol, this chemical compound is one that causes an allergic reaction in humans that presents as a severe rash with blistering bumps. The long-lasting effect can last for weeks or months if left untreated, so it is important to know the proper ways of avoiding the plant, in addition, make sure that you seek medical help in order to get rid of it.

3. Poison Ivy

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Leaf Shape Rounded
Specific Needs
  • Moist but well-drained soil
  • Partial shade or full sunlight
Common Pests
  • Beetles
  • Flies

Hailing from the Anacardiaceae family, Poison Ivy is a poisonous plant found throughout Alabama and other areas in the southern United States. It typically grows as a woody vine. However, it can also appear as a shrub or free-standing plant. This plant, is one of the most popular poisonous plants that can be found, due to its effect on the body.

The Itchy Plant You Should Avoid

It produces white-green flowers during its flowering period from June to October, followed by waxy green drupes that contain three to four golden-brown seeds. All parts of the Poison ivy plant are poisonous and produce an oily resin known as urushiol when touched, which can cause an itchy rash along with redness and swelling, make sure that you would wash your hands thoroughly, and let it rest on its own.

4. Oleander

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Leaf Shape
  • Linear
  • Lanceolate
Specific Needs
  • Full sun
  • Well-drained soil
Common Pests Aphids

Oleander, native to parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, is an ornamental evergreen shrub that possesses beautiful blooms in a variety of colors. However, the plant contains poison throughout all of its parts starting from the leaves, flowers, stems, and even roots with no known antidote. It is particularly prevalent in the southeastern United States and Alabama in particular.

Garden Plant with a Deadly Secret

Fortunately, it poses little risk to humans due to its characteristic bitterness, meaning it’s sap is already one that would agitate the taste buds when try out. However, it has caused accidental death or illness when eaten or mixed with tobacco or drugs for intentional use. Comprehension about this particular poisonous plant is essential for proper management, because it’s better not to risk a child when they attempt to eat it.

5. Wisteria

Growing Season Spring
Leaf Shape Lance-shaped
Specific Needs
  • Full sun
  • Moist semi-fertile soil
Common Pests
  • Long horned borers
  • Aphids
  • Scales

Wisteria is a poisonous plant native to Alabama, as it is a popular plant in this region. It is well-known for its dense, woody vines and fragrant purple blooms. 

Stunning Plant with a Poisonous Past

However, it can also be dangerous when ingested due to the different ways it can impact the human body. Wisteria contains several toxic compounds, including an alkaloid called wisterin chemical which can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even convulsions if consumed in high enough doses, as it would disturb the immune system of a person.

On the other hand, some cattle have occasionally been affected after consuming the flowers or seed pods of Wisteria plants. For these reasons, it is important to be aware of where Wisteria is growing in your area and keep children and animals away from it whenever possible, because the impact is vast.

6. Azaleas

Growing Season Spring
Leaf Shape Elliptic
Specific Needs
  • Part shade or full sun
  • Acidic soil
Common Pests
  • Lace bugs
  • Leafminers
  • Scales

Azaleas are popular ornamental plants found throughout the southeastern United States, particularly in the state of Alabama. While they are lovely to look at, they can be quite dangerous if ingested by humans or animals alike, which means that it is best if you do not cultivate it in surrounding your house. In addition, they contain grayanotoxin, which is damaging to both the digestive system and nervous systems of those exposed to it.

A Beautiful but Poisonous Plant

Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rate and breathing, paralysis, and even death can occur with the ingestion of azaleas in a larger quantity. Therefore, property owners must take precautionary measures when planting these beautiful flowering bushes around their homes or gardens.

7. Yellow Jessamine

Growing Season Spring
Leaf Shape Lance-shaped
Specific Needs
  • Organically rich moist soil
  • Full sun
Common Pests Aphids

Yellow Jessamine is an evergreen vine native to the southeastern United States and found throughout the regions of Alabama. It produces clusters of fragrant yellow blossoms in spring, as well as red berries that are not poisonous, although the seeds of these berries are mildly toxic to humans. This attractive plant can cause both respiratory and digestive problems if ingested in large quantities due to its toxicity, which means that it is quite dangerous to eat them.

A Deceptively Dangerous Plant

On the other hand even when you have contact with its leaves can cause a skin rash and even mild to moderate poisoning when handled repeatedly or over extended periods. Therefore, gardeners in Alabama need to exercise caution when handling this poisonous plant.

8. Daffodil

Growing Season
  • Spring
  • Fall
Leaf Shape Linear
Specific Needs
  • Full sunlight
  • Well-drained but moist soil
Common Pests
  • Bulb mites
  • Bulb flies

Daffodil, a perennial, bulb-forming plant that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family, is native to parts of Europe but is commonly cultivated throughout Alabama, it is prone to grow near riverbanks or forests and rocky areas. 

Plant with a Cheerful Appearance

The daffodil, while typically known for its cheerful blooms, has been found to have some potentially hazardous properties. All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause severe symptoms whenever they are ingested, whether by humans or even by house pets.

Ingestion of small quantities can cause gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting and diarrhea as well as spasms and/or paralysis if enough is ingested. Even touching certain parts of the plant can lead to skin irritation or severe blistering.

9. Milkweed

Growing Season Fall
Leaf Shape Lance-shaped
Specific Needs
  • Full sun
  • Well-drained soil
Common Pests
  • Milkweed bugs
  • Milkweed beetles

Milkweed is a member of the Apocynaceae family and is commonly found in Alabama. It has an intense, unpleasant odor, making it largely unpopular with livestock, humans, and other animals. 

Poisonous with a Surprising Benefit

Its sap can be extremely irritating to humans when contact occurs and its stems contain calcium oxalate crystals that cause mouth blistering if eaten raw, this is due to the sap that it has.

While many monarch butterflies rely on milkweed as their primary food source, it is considered poisonous to many animals due to its high glycoside concentrations which can cause cardiac arrhythmias or digestive distress if ingested in large amounts. Not only that, but if ingested in a great quantity, it can definitely be fatal.

10. Leather Flower

Growing Season Summer
Leaf Shape
  • Flat
  • Triangular
Specific Needs
  • Partial or full sun
  • Rich acidic soil
Common Pests
  • Vine weevils
  • Scales
  • Earwigs

Leather Flower is a perennial native to North America, but is highly invasive in certain areas, particularly in Alabama. This woody vine with distinctive feathery foliage produces white and violet fragrant flowers. 

Leather Plant with Unique Beauty

When you come across this plant, note that all its parts are toxic if ingested and can cause severe poisoning symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, impaired vision, abdominal pains, and in a severe case, it can even cause death.

Long-term exposure can result in chronic renal failure or other health conditions. To prevent this dangerous plant from causing harm, it is recommended to remove them completely when they are found in gardens or yards, to be safe from causing any harm to a pet or a child.

11. Hortensia

Growing Season Fall
Leaf Shape Heart-shaped
Specific Needs
  • Partial shade
  • Moist soil with good drainage
Common Pests
  • Slugs
  • Scales
  • Aphids

Hortensia, native to many areas of the United States, is a common ornamental plant, and one of those places would be Alabama. It is considered very mildly toxic when ingested and generally produces non-life-threatening symptoms. 

Plant with a Fragrant History

Despite being non-lethal, Hortensia is highly poisonous in some parts of Alabama. Ingestion or skin contact can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, depression, and central nervous system disturbances, which would stress your body from its normal state.

It is wise for those working or frequenting gardens in the more affected regions of Alabama to take cautionary measures for their safety and that of others around them, such as wearing protective gloves when handling the plant.

12. Wake Robin

Growing Season Spring
Leaf Shape
  • Lance-shaped
  • Nearly round
Specific Needs
  • Moist cool soil
  • Partial or full shade
Common Pests
  • Slugs 
  • Snails

Wake Robin is a highly poisonous plant found in Alabama, as well as other parts of North America. It is a tall perennial herb belonging to the Melanthiaceae family and is characterized by its three-petaled flowers and large ovate leaves.

Toxic Plant with a Misleading Name

All parts of wake Robin contain toxic components that can provoke an array of symptoms if ingested, which may include nausea, vomiting, weak pulse, convulsions, paralysis, and even death in extreme cases. For this reason, it is important that people living in or traveling through Alabama be aware of where these plants may be growing to avoid accidental ingestion.

Conclusion

The poisonous plants in Alabama that are listed here are not always too dangerous yet you should avoid them for safety. Here is a quick summary of the dangers of these plants,

  • Plants such as poison sumac, poison oak, etc. can cause red skin lesions and intense itching.
  • Wisteria, azalea, and other such plants can provoke problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.
  • Yellow Jessamine is a plant found in Alabama that may be responsible for respiratory and digestive concerns.
  • Milkweed can be responsible for causing difficulties like mouth blistering, due to the sap that is has which is dense in its intoxicating agent.

Due to such problems, it is wise to avoid these plants if you’re living in Alabama or planning to visit there. You wouldn’t want to add anything to your immune system that could challenge it and cause it to weaken.

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