Does anyone know of a good website I could go to, to find a list of poisonous indoor and outdoor plants and mushrooms? Kona goes to my mother in laws on Mondays while we're at work and takes care of her but she started eating some of her plants. I was kinda miffed when I heard this so I'd like to see if she has any poisonous ones. We have mushrooms growing in our back yard which we pick as soon as we see them but in case Kona finds one that we've missed I just want to make sure it won't hurt her. So far she seems fine after eating the plants at my mother in laws.
I have spent an absolutely ridiculous amount of time researching this, in an effort to create a 100% safe, non-toxic backyard environment. So, I can tell you with a pretty fair amount of certainty that your MIL does have poisonous plants. Seriously - the list of plants that are guaranteed completely non-toxic is not very long.
However! There are all degrees of "toxic." Some plants cause dermatitis. Some can cause paralyzed vocal chords if consumed (hence the common name "dumbcane" for diffenbachia.) Some cause an upset tummy. Some are only toxic if consumed in huge quantities. Some are toxic only to certain species (daylilies are toxic to cats, not dogs). And so on. Really, one could easily make a full-time job out of this!
Then, there are the few who are so frighteningly toxic and in such small amounts that I wouldn't have them anywhere in my yard, ever. I think aspca has a "Top Ten toxic plants" on their site. A few that spring to mind for me are:
Castor Bean Plant (tropical, but sometimes grown as an annual)
Check the list at ASPCA - it's the one I use most often. hsus.org has a list as well. UC Davis has a list I like a lot too...just go to ucdavis.edu and search for "Toxic Plants" and "Safe Plants." Keep in mind those lists were compiled with humans in mind.
Good for you for looking out for this! My motto is, when in doubt, spit it out! I try not to let them eat any plant on walks.
Mushrooms...that's a whole 'nother can of worms. You would have to be a mycologist to tell the difference between a poisonous and harmless one, and sometimes even they have difficulty ID'ing them. We definitely have a no-mushroom-ever policy.
You're welcome! If you have questions about particular plants, I may be able to help. I made this my "life's work" last year.
Here is some irony for you: After researching for months upon months, reading books and Web sites, cross-referencing lists, etc., I landscaped our backyard with what I felt were the absolute most unquestionably safe plants available. I stepped back and breathed a huge sigh of relief: Now the boys had a virtual "safe haven" in our backyard, and I would never have to worry about them getting into anything that could harm them. Life was so good.
A few months later, they both came up with fungal infections on their feet. They got it from the mulch. Made me want to just give up and pave!!!