Common poisonous plants | Western Cape Government

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Common poisonous plants

Poisonous plants

Poisonous plants can be found in almost every garden in South Africa. Usually, these are only life-threatening when eaten. It’s important that you seek immediate medical assistance if you suspect that a poisonous plant has been eaten.  

Common plants which are poisonous include: ​

Poisonous plant Symptoms

Dumb cane

Dumb cane poisonous plant




Swollen mouth        

Inability to talk





Elephant's ear

Elephant's ear poisonous plant

Tingly or burning feeling on mouth or lips

Severe burning or redness of the eyes




Arum lily

Arum lily poisonous plant



Local irritation

Burning sensation in your mouth





Delicious monster

Delicious monster poisonous plant



Inflamed mouth, tongue and lips

High risk of fatality






These plants contain calcium oxalate crystals and if you chew some parts of them you may feel pain in the mouth. When your children are playing outside, keep a close eye on them so that they don’t put any unknown leaves, berries or stems into their mouths.  

The content on this page was last updated on 18 June 2021