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Safe and Poisonous House Plants

This page lists some of the safe house plants as well as some of the house plants that can be toxic to humans and possibly animals. The information provided is compiled from the "Know Your Plants -- Safe or Poisonous?" brochure that is put out by the California Poison Control System. For a more detailed list of plants visit the California Poison Control System web site.

What You Will Find on this Page:

Safe House Plant List
This is just a partial list of safe house plants. These plants are generally safe if ingested, though eating them is not recommended.
Common Name Scientific Name
African Violet Saintpaulia ionantha
Aluminum plant Pilea spp.
Bamboo Bambusa mutiplex
Bamboo, Golden Phyllostachys aurea
Bird of paradise Strelitzia reginae
Bird's nest fern Asplenium nidus
Boston fern Nephrolepis exaltata
Cast iron plant Aspidistra elatior
China Doll Radermachera spp.
Christmas Cactus Schlumbergera bridgesii
Coleus Coleus hybridus
Corn plant Dracaena spp.
Dracaena Dracaena spp.
Goldfish Plant Columnea spp.
Heart-of-flame bromeliad Bromelia spp.
Japanese aralia Fatsia japonica
Lipstick plant Aeschynanthus spp.
Maidenhair fern Adiantum spp.
Mosaic plant Fittonia spp.
Neoregelia bromeliad Neoregelia spp.
Nerve Plant Fittonia spp.
Orchids Cattleya spp.
Epidendrum spp.
Oncidium spp.
Paphiopedilum
Palms Most houseplant palms are nontoxic except
fishtail palm, Caryota spp.
Peperomia Peperomia spp.
Piggy-back plant Tolmiea mensziesii
Pink polka-dot plant Hypoestes spp.
Ponytail plant Beaucarnea recurvata
Prayer Plant Maranta leuconeura
Purple velvet plant Gynura aurantiaca
Rattlesnake plant Calathea spp.
Spider plant Chlorophytum comosum
Swedish ivy Plectranthus spp.
Ti plant Cordyline terminalis
Yucca Yucca spp.

Toxicity Class
  1. Major Toxicity: These plants may cause serious illness or death. If ingested, immediately call the Poison Control Center or your doctor.
  2. Minor Toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses such as vomiting or diarrhea. If ingested, call the Poison Control Center or your doctor.
  3. Oxalates: The juice or sap of these plants contains oxalate crystals. These needle-shaped crystals can irritate the skin, mouth, tongue, and throat, resulting in throat swelling, breathing difficulties, burning pain, and stomach upset. Call the Poison Control Center or your doctor if any of these symptoms appear following ingestion of plants.
  4. Dermatitis: The juice, sap, or thorns of these plants may cause a skin rash or irritation. Wash the affected area of skin with soap and water as soon as possible after contact. The rashes may be very serious and painful. Call the Poison Control Center or your doctor if symptoms appear following contact with the plants.

Plants that have some level of Toxicity
Common Name Scientific Name Toxicity Class
Amaryllis Hippeastrum spp. 2
Anthurium Anthurium spp. 3, 4
Begonia Begonia spp. (some spp.) 2, 3
Caladium Caladium bicolor 3, 4
Chenille plant Acalypha spp. 2, 4
Chinese Evergreen Aglaonema spp. 3, 4
Croton Codiaeum variegatum 2, 4
Dumb cane Dieffenbachia spp. 3
Fig, Weeping and Fiddle-leaf Ficus spp. 4
Fishtail palm Caryota spp. 3, 4
Nerine Nerine spp. 2, 4
Philodendron Philodendron spp. 3, 4
Poinsettia Euphorbia spp. 2, 4
Pothos Epipremnum aureum 3, 4
Rubber plant Ficus spp. 4
Sago palm Cycas revoluta 2
Schefflera Schefflera actinophylla 2, 4
Snake plant Sansevieria spp. 2, 4
Spathiphyllum Spathiphyllum spp. 3, 4
Split-leaf philodendron Monstera deliciosa 3, 4

This site was created and is maintained by Mid City Nursery, Inc. © 1998 - 2005

Mid City Nursery, Inc
3635 Broadway
Napa-Vallejo Highway
American Canyon, CA 94503
(707) 642-4167