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Exotic pets, rodents and birds

Plants that are Dangerous to Cavies


To start off with, here's an excellent site with some GOOD plants, fruits, and veggies for your rabbits and cavies.

If you are dealing with a suspected ingestion emergency, do NOT take the time to scan this page. Phone 888-426-4435 IMMEDIATELY. This is the number for ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center. The cost is $45 per case, but they are an amazing database of types of poisonous plants in your area, and will work one-on-one with your veterinarian.

There are several lists on this page, 2 of them written specifically for birds, one a basic general poisonous plant list, and one that is specifically for cavies. It's a good idea to apply a general rule of thumb: If you know a plant is dangerous to any species, err on the side of caution and don't feed it. If you've fed it for years with no ill effects, either you are doing something right or you have super cavies!



Here's a link to an article written by Dr Alicia McWaters, an avian nutritionist, regarding which plants are safe for birds and which aren't, and what to do it if you suspect your friend has eaten something it shouldn't have! Poisonous Plants - Avian Nutrition


Here's another list put out by Strictly For the Birds Aviary, with plants that are known to be poisonous to birds!


This is a list put out by the University of Illinois, as a generic "Toxic to Animals" in general list. The majority of these plants are found in the midwest, but the information is applicable to many garden and houseplants as well. If you find any plant that should be on this list and isn't, or one that is on this list and shouldn't be, please EMAIL ME.

American Coffee Berry Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.)
Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis L.)
Bull Nettle (Solanum carolinense L.)
Bracken or Brake Fern (Pteridium aquilinum L.)
Burning Bush see Fireweed
Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.)
Carelessweed see Pigweed
Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.)
Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.)
Creeping Charlie see Ground Ivy - A photo but no animal info.
Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)
Curly Dock (Rumex crispus L.)
Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)
Delphinium (Delphinium spp.)
Devil's Trumpet see Jimson Weed
Dogbane (Apocynum spp.)
Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria (L.) Bernh.)
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis L.)
English Ivy (Hedera helix L.)
Ergot (Claviceps purpurea (Fr.) Tul.)
Fern, Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum L.)
Fireweed (Kochia scoparia L.)
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea L.)
Ground Ivy (Glecoma hederacea L.)
Hemlock, Poison (Conium maculatum L.)
Hemlock, Water (Cicuta maculata L.)
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)
Horse Chestnut, Buckeyes (Aesculus hippocastanum L.)
Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense L.)
Horsetails (Equisetum arvense L. & other species)
Hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis)
Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)
Ivy, English (Hedera helix L.)
Ivy, Ground (Glecoma hederacea L.)
Ivy, Poison (Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema spp.)
Jamestown Weed see Jimson Weed
Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata Sieb. & Zucc.)
Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum L.)
Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium L.)
Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioica (L.) K. Koch)
Kentucky Mahagony Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
Klamath Weed see St. Johnswort
Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album L.)
Lantana (Lantana camara L.)
Larkspur (Delphinium spp.)
Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)
Lupine (Lupinus spp.)
Mad Apple see Jimson Weed
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.)
Milkweed, Common (Asclepias syriaca L.)
Mint, Purple (Perilla frutescens)
Nicker Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
Nightshade (Solanum spp.)
Oleander (Nerium oleander L.)
Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra Willd.)
Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)
Pigweed (Amaranthus spp.)
Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum L.)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze)
Poke (Phytolacca americana L.)
Purple Mint (Perilla frutescens)
Redroot see Pigweed
Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)
Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum L.)
Squirrelcorn (Dicentra canadensis (Goldie) Walp.) see Dutchman's Breeches
Staggerweed (Dicentra spp.) see Dutchman's Breeches
St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum L.)
Stink Weed see Jimson Weed
Stump Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree
Sudan Grass (Sorghum vulgare var. sudanense Hitchc.)
Summer Cypress see Fireweed
Thorn Apple see Jimson Weed
Tulip (Tulipa spp.)
Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata L.)

White Snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum Hout.)
Wild Onion (Allium spp.)
Yellow Sage see Lantana

This information was researched through the following bibliography:
1.ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center. Household Plant Reference. New York, NY: ASPCA, 1998.
2. Beckett, Kenneth A. The RHS Encyclopedia of House Plants, Including Greenhouse Plants. London: Swallow Editions Ltd., 1987.
3. Boon, W. and H. Groe. Nature's Heartland: Native Plant Communities of the Great Plains Illustrated in Seasonal Color. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 1990.
4. Burger, Sandra M. Horse Owner's Field Guide to Toxic Plants. Ossining, NY: Breakthrough Publications Inc., 1996. ISBN: 0-914-32762-3
5. Cheeke, Peter R. Natural Toxicants in Feeds, Forages, and Poisonous Plants. Danville, IL: Interstate Publishers, Inc., 1998. ISBN: 0-8134-3128-X  [Table of Contents]
6. Colegate, S. M. and P. R. Dorling. Plant-Associated Toxins: Agricultural, Phytochemical & Ecological Aspects. Wallingford, U.K.: CAB International, 1994.
7. Davis, Brian. The Gardener's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1987.
8. Dictionary of Plant Toxins. Jeffrey B. Harborne and Berbert Baxter, eds. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley, 1996. [Description]
9. Evers, Robert A. and Roger P. Link. Poisonous Plants of the Midwest and Their Effects on Livestock. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Agriculture, 1972. (Special Publication 24).
10. Foster, Steven, and Roger A. Caras. A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants: North America North of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
11. Fowler, Murray E. Plant Poisoning in Small Companion Animals. St. Louis, MO: Ralston Purina, 1981.
12. Gfeller, Roger W. and Shawn P. Messonnier. Handbook of Small Animal Toxicology and Poisonings. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, 1998
13. Great Plains Flora Association. Flora of the Great Plains. Coordinated by R. L. McGregor. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1986.
14. Hails, Michael R. Comp. Plant Poisoning in Animals: A Bibliography from the World Literature: no.3 1983-1992. Wallingford, U.K.: CAB International, 1994.
15. Hall, Jeffery O., William B. Buck, and Loise-M. Côté. Natural Poisons in Horses. Second edition. Urbana, IL: National Poison Control Center; University of Illinois, 1995.
16. Kingsbury, John M. Poisonous Plants of the United States and Canada. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1964.
17. Lampe, Kenneth F. and Mary Ann McCann. AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants. Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, 1985.
18. Mohlenbrock, R.H. and D.M. Ladd. Distribution of Illinois Vascular Plants. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1978.
19. Murphy, Michael J. A Field Guide to Common Animal Poisons. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 1996.
20. North, Pamela M. Poisonous Plants and Fungi in Colour. London: Blandford Press, 1967.
21. Pojar, Jim and Andy MacKinnon. Plants of Coastal British Columbia Including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Vancouver, British Columbia: B.C. Ministry of Forests and Lone Pine Publishing, 1994.
22. Ricciuti, Edward R. The Devil's Garden: Facts and Folklore of Perilous Plants. New York: Walker and Company, 1978.
23. Ross, Ivan A. Medical Plants of the World: Chemical Constituents, Traditional and Modern Medicinal Uses. Totowa, NJ: Humana Press, c1999.
24. Spoerke, David G. and Susan C. Smolinske. Toxicity of Houseplants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1990.
25. Stephens, H.A. Poisonous Plants of the Central United States. Lawrence: The Regents Press of Kansas, 1980.
26. Tehon, L.R. C. C. Morrill, and Robert Graham. Illinois Plants Poisonous to Livestock. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1946. (Circular 599 of College of Agriculture Extension Service in Agriculture and Home Economics.)
27. Tichy, William. Poisons, Antidotes & Anecdotes. New York: Sterling Publishing, 1977.
28. Turner, Nancy J. and Adam F. Szczawinski. Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of North America. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1991.
29. West, Erdman and M.W. Emmel. Plants That Poison Farm Animals. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 1987.
30. West, Erdman. Poisonous Plants Around the Home. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, 1984. (Bulletin 175D of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.)
31. Whitson, Tom D. Weeds of the West. Laramie, WY: The Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with the Western United States Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Services, 1991.
32. Whitson, Tom D. Weeds of the West. Laramie, WY: The Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with the Western United States Land Grant Universities Cooperative Extension Services, 1995.


Another quick list of plants I didn't see on the above lists, that should be avoided at all costs!

A

Acacia
Agapanthas - a good photo of the flowers
Almond plant
Aloe Vera
Amaryllis
Apple seeds (cyanide) - an interesting article on the breakdown of cyanide in birds
Apple leaf Croton - found on a dog site it causes respiratory problems
Apricot pits, leaves or branches (small amt of fruit is fine)
Arrowgrass
Asparagus fern
Autumn Crocus
Avocado fruit, leaves, branches and pit
Azalea flowers, leaves and branches

B

Babies Breath
Bird of Paradise flowers or leaves
Bittersweet
Black locust
Bleeding heart flowers or leaves
Boxwood
Bracken fern
Branching Ivy - found on about 4 dozen pet sites, but no photo available
Buckeye
Buckthorn
Buddhist Pine
BUTTERCUP

C

Caladium
Calla Lily flowers or leaves
Camphor tree branches or leaves
Candelabra Cactus (or any cactus)
Castor Bean
Ceriman
Cherry branches, pits or leaves (small amt of fruit is fine)
Chinaberry
Chinese evergreen
Chlorophytum
Choke Cherry fruit, leaves and branches all dangerous
Christmas Rose
Cineraria
Clematis flowers and leaves
Coffee plant flowers, beans or leaves!!
Corn Lily
Corn plant (Dracena spp.)
Cornstalk plant (from your garden, raw silks, no!)
Crocus
Cuban Laurel
Cycads - also known as sago palm
Cyclamen leaves and flowers

D

Daffodil
Daphne
Delphinium
Devil's Ivy - also known as golden pothos, pothos
Diffenbachia
Dracena spp. (many various species around, be sure to check!)
Dutchman's breeches - also known as bleeding heart

E

Easter Lily
Elderberry leaves, berries and branches
Elephant ears, Alocasia Elephant ears, Colocasia
Emerald Feather
English Ivy
European spindle tree

F

Fiddleneck
Fiddle-leaf fig
Fitweed
Florida Beauty
Four-o-clocks flowers or leaves
Foxglove

G

Geranium flowers or leaves
German Ivy
Glacier Ivy
Goldenchain"
Golden Pothos
Greaseweed

H

Halogeton
Hibiscus
Holly
Honeysuckle
Horsebrush (Horsetail?)
Hurricane Plant

I

Indian Laurel
Indian rubber plant
Iris
Ivy of any sort

J

Japanese lily
Jasmine
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimson weed

K

Kalanchoe
Klamathweed

L

Lantana
Lily of the Valley
Lobelia
Locoweed
Lords and Ladies
Lupine

M

Marble Queen
Marigold
Marijuana
Meadow Death Camas
Milkvetch
Milkweed
Mistletoe
Mock orange
Monkshood
Moonseed
Morning glory
Mother-in-law tongue
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms (amanita)

N

Narcissus
Nephthytis
Nettles
Nightshades

O

Oak
Oleander
Onion
Oriental Lily

P

Peace Lily (spathophylum spp.)
Peaches
Pencil cactus
Periwinkle
peyote
Philodendron
Pigweed
Plumosa fern
Poinsetta
Poison ivy
Poison oak
Pokeberry
Potato (raw)
Pothos
Precatory beans
Primrose
Privit
Psilcybin mushrooms
Purple foxglove

R

Rain tree
Red emerald
Red princess
Rhododendron
Rhubarb
Ribbon plant

S

Sago palm
Sansevieria
Satin pothos
Schefflera
Snake plant
Snow-on-the-mountain
Spider plant
String of Pearls
Swiss Cheese plant

T

Tansy Ragwort (Senecio)
Taro vine
Thornapple
Tiger lily
Tinsel tree
Tobacco
Toyon
Tulip

W

Walnut (green husks)
Weeping fig
Wisteria

Y

Yellow Jasmine
Yellow star thistle
Yew


And yet another list, put out by Blankee.com. Aloe barbadensis Aloe Vera, Burn plant
Amaryllis sp. Amaryllis
Anthurium andraeanum Flamingo lily
Caladium hortulanum Angels' wings
Chrysanthemum indicum Chrysanthemums, Mums
Clivia miniata Kaffir Lily
Codiaeum variegatum Croton
Cyclamen persicum Cyclamen
Datura innoxia Angel's Trumpet
Dieffenbachia sp. Dumb cane
Euphorbia milii Crown-of-thorns
Euphorbia pulcherrima Poinsettia
Hedera helix English Ivy
Hydrangea macrophylla Hydrangea
Kalanchoe daigremontiana Devil's Backbone
Monstera deliciosa Ceriman, Swiss-cheese plant
Philodendron sp. Heart leaf philodendron, Philodendron
Rhododendron sp. Azalea
Solanum pseudocapsicum Jerusalem Cherry

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