Safe Landscaping - Knowledgebase Question

san antonio, TX
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Question by grovesc
April 22, 1998
I need information on landscape quality plants that people with severe mental disabilities can safely be around without fear of injury or poisoning.

Answer from NGA
April 22, 1998
It is difficult to come up with such a list, since even many "edible" plants are toxic if the wrong parts are consumed--for example, rhubarb leaves. I can list for you some common ornamental plants that are poisonous, that you should definitely avoid:

Autumn crocus, black locust, bleeding heart, box, buckeye, castor bean plant, cherry laurel, daffodil, daphne, English ivy, foxglove, golden chain tree, hydrangea, lantana, larkspur/delphinium, lily-of-the-valley, mountain laurel, oleander, privet, rhododendron/azalea, sweet pea, wisteria, yew.

I'm afraid that any garden would contain possibly toxic plants, so strict supervision would be necessary if accidental ingestion is possible. I would certainly avoid plants with sharp parts/thorns (yucca, roses), to reduce the chance of cuts and scrapes.

I hope this is helpful.

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