Angel Trumpet – Poison Worries

Q: I have been told that angel trumpet plants are poisonous. Since we have a lot of small children living near us I don’t want to grow a possibly hazardous plant.

A: If you’re worried about poisonous landscape plants, you’ll have to pull up the mountain laurel that makes your town so pretty in early summer. Remove every azalea, rhododendron, Carolina jessamine, boxwood, daffodil, clematis and Virginia creeper. Also take out any privet, burning bush, elephant ear, lantana, oleander, arborvitae, caladium or Easter lily you have in your garden. In my opinion, a case could be made that most plants are poisonous, depending on how and how much you contact. Eat enough beans and you’ll have a violent stomach ache. Does that make it “poisonous”? Rub against an angel trumpet and you’ll usually have no reaction at all. That sure doesn’t keep it from being classified “non-poisonous”.

It is true that angel trumpet leaves and seed cause tremors and blurring of vision if you eat them. But so will the foliage of a tomato. Unless your neighborhood children are likely to chew the leaves of your angel trumpet, enjoy the flowers and keep in mind that while the plant CAN be poisonous in certain situations, it is not likely that it WILL be poisonous in yours.

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