Yesterday I was reading through a blog entry by a member of GardenGuides.com. It was about a toxic plant his/her friend had planted in her yard that caused her to go blind now for two weeks. Below is the blog entry titled "Donkey Tail Spurge" by member "jmcandrew":
"DO NOT PLANT. I had a friend that planted this and touched her eyes, she is blind for two weeks. STAY AWAY. " --- Click her to view the members comments to this entry.
After reading the warning, out of curiosity I decided to look it up to make sure we didn't have it in our yard.
Well, as a matter of fact we do have it here in our yard! It is a plant that I had wrote about as a mystery plant in one of my GardenGuides.com blog entries a while back. I had no idea what it was and I had hoped to get it growing in my garden.
I searched online and found a website with lots of worrying information. I can't link it here, but if you do want to check out the link, you can always go to my other blog where I have it linked.
It warns of many adverse reactions including "contact dermatitis", facial swelling and burning, MAJOR eye pain and damages, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Please check out the website to read the user comments on it below the information. It has 6 positives reviews, 3 neutral reviews, and 10 negative reviews. Two of neutral reviews are also on the side of major caution as well as the 10 negative reviews. There are also other comments on this site regarding it's noxious weed status in Colorado as well as potentially other states. It can be invasive. Please take note.
Thank goodness Hannah never came in contact with it!! I don't know what I would have done if I planted something in my garden that caused harm to her!! Even if I came in contact with the "sap" or milky part (like dandelion milk, when you break it it leaks out) I could have transferred the burning sap to her.
I am very thankful for the person (member "jmcandrew") who put effort into warning others about this toxic plant. Thank goodness too that I decided to look it up after reading their warning!
Like I said, I can only imagine..... very scary.
Below you can see some pictures of the one we have growing in our yard:
is the dried up Donkey Tail Spurge that I had attempted to get to grow
in my garden (it was a piece that had been broken off when I found it
and I thought it was in the Sedum family and that it would grow if I
covered it with dirt).
is the Donkey Tail Spurge growing near the horse round pen where we
live. It really is a nice flower when it is healthy and in it's optimum
form, but I don't think it's worth having with it's terrible toxic
Above is the dried up Donkey Tail Spurge that I had attempted to get to grow in my garden (it was a piece that had been broken off when I found it and I thought it was in the Sedum family and that it would grow if I covered it with dirt).
Above is the Donkey Tail Spurge growing near the horse round pen where we live. It really is a nice flower when it is healthy and in it's optimum form, but I don't think it's worth having with it's terrible toxic properties.
I looked it up in my garden book too and found that it is in the same family as Christmas Poinsettia. It is a huge family and not all plants in the family are poisonous but quite a few of them are. My Mom who had worked in a nursery for quite a number of years knew of the family, loves the plant and knew nothing of the severity of reactions from this plant. I am most afraid of my parents accidentally tearing this plant when they are raking leaves, then possibly touching their faces, or eyes not knowing they had come in contact with the "sap" or milky part of the plant. I hope my Mom is careful (and my Dad too!).
I also wonder if/why nurseries don't warn of it's problems? I mean some may, but my Mother-In-Law wouldn't have bought the plant knowing it's problems since she has young kids of her own. The only thing I can figure out is maybe it was marketed as a "deer resistent" perennial since we are always looking for those types of plants. Who knows, but it's pretty icky!
If you choose to keep this plant in your yard, please do handle with care and educate anyone who may possibly come in contact with this plant (ESPECIALLY CHILDREN!!!)! I will not have this in my yard and will not let Hannah near that area. If you have children, please, please, please be careful and consider removing this plant from your garden!!
I planted the Lamium that I got for Mother's Day today after digging out two awkward rocks in a 6"X10" v-shaped area in the shadier part of my garden. I hope it does well, I really like it.
I remembered to bring the tag inside of the perennial I planted, but couldn't remember the name (I mentioned it in yesterday and a few days ago blog entries). The name of the plant is "Silene Uniflora" or "Compacta" (not sure what the Compacta part means). It is a perennial for mostly sunny area to light shade and is a lower growing spreading plant that looks nice in borders and rock gardens. It has little "white flowers with pink tint and bloom above a mat of green leaves". I really like the color of foliage (white green) and the way it looks spread out.
I will take some pictures soon and label what plants are where so that you can see all of these perennials that I have been talking about planting these last few blog entries.
My Morning Glory seeds are sprouting away in their damp paper towel home, so tomorrow they will have to be planted in some soil (probably into milk jug bottoms because I can get tons of seeds and they fit fairly well in my windowsill.
I will write some more tomorrow. Please, do think about not having Donkey Tail Spurge around unless you are fully educated on it's issues and have educated others that may come contact with it as well!
Happy Gardening....Wonderful days wished your way!
May 14, 2009 | 3:09 PM PST
Thanks for gathering together all that information on the donkey tail spurge. They should have warnings posted with that plant, and possibly ban it from our nurseries. Take care, mitzi
May 14, 2009 | 6:12 PM PST
Kitty, a LOT of plants and/or their leaves or flowers are poisonious. Did you know that tomato leaves are poisonous? You have to teach your daughter at an early age NOT to eat anything unless she asks you first. There is a long list of common plants that can give adverse reactions. The best is to educate yourself-and-just don't eat the plants!(lol) Wear gloves, keep a dish towel to wipe your sweat so you don't get sap in your eyes. Just common sense.
May 14, 2009 | 6:24 PM PST
Yes, I am teaching not to eat things out in nature! I wasn't positive if tomato leaves were poisonous, but I had that thought in the back of my head. I also think that the reason I thought poinsettia's were poisonous must have been the fact that I heard they were in the family group of many other poisonous plants at one time or another. Very interesting.
Like I said, I try my best to know what I have in my garden, but I still have to teach Hannah about the danger etc of putting her hands in her mouth when outside and definitely not eating thing with out asking!! Things like tomatoes you just have to be careful.
Thank you for your thoughts. I hope your doing well!
Oct 30, 2009 | 6:06 PM PST
My daughter's second grade class gathered plants around the school for a class. Five of the kids developed severe swelling and reddenng of the face that kept them out of school for a couple of days. It appears that some kids can get a severe reaction just by touching this plant. Watch out. The pediatrician didn't know what the problem was it was only after the school nurse figured out the issue that we were able to deal with the plants. Again be careful.