POISONOUS PLANTS IN NEW ZEALAND

The following list of was supplied by the New Zealand Ministry of Education and is taken from a resource published by the Ministry of Health: Nga kupu Oranga, Healthy Messages, A health and safety resource for early childhood services.

Some of the names have been corrected on this page. Links from the plant names are to images and descriptions reproduced with permission from Common Weeds of New Zealand.

Apple of Sodom (Solanum linnaeanum Hepper & P.-M. Jaeger)
Poisonous parts: The berries

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.)
Poisonous parts: The kernels inside the fruit stone. However, they are not poisonous once they have been cooked

Arum (Arum spp.)
Poisonous parts: All parts

Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts, especially the berries
Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum Miers)
Poisonous parts: Berries
Buttercup (Celery-leaved) (Ranunculus sceleratus L.)
Poisonous parts: Leaves and flowers
Calico bush (Kalmia latifolia L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts
Cape tulip (Homeria collina (Thunb.) Vent.)
Poisonous parts: All parts are very poisonous, even when they are dead and dry
Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis L.)
Poisonous parts: Seeds
Daphne (Daphne spp.)
Poisonous parts: All parts
Elephant ear (Alocasia brisbanensis (F.M.Bailey) Domin.)
Poisonous parts: Flowers, leaves and stems
English yew (Taxus baccata L.)
Poisonous parts: The brown seed inside each berry
Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea L.)
Poisonous parts: Leaves and seeds
Hemlock (Conium maculatum L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts are very poisonous, even when they are dead and dry
Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger L.)
Poisonous parts: Seed and fruit
Holly (Ilex aquifolium L.)
Poisonous parts: Berries
Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L.)
Poisonous parts: Seeds
Inkweed (Phytolacca octandra L.)
Poisonous parts: Berries, leaves and root
Ivy (Hedera helix L.)
Poisonous parts: The fruit of some plants. People with sensitive skins may also develop a rash after touching the plant
Ivy, Poison (Rhus radicans L.)
Poisonous parts: The climbing plant is very poisonous when touched. The shrub may also cause a rash and swelling if it is touched by people with sensitive skin
Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts, particularly the berries
Karaka (Corynocarpus laevigatus J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.)
Poisonous parts: The kernels of the fruit
Kowhai (Sophora microphylla Aiton)
Poisonous parts: All parts, but mainly the seeds
Laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides Medik.)
Poisonous parts: All parts, especially the seeds
Lantana (Lantana carmara L.)
Poisonous parts: The fruit
Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts, especially the seeds
Milkweed (Euphorbia peplus L.)
Poisonous parts: The fruit and leaves
Ngaio (Myoporum laetum G.Forst.)
Poisonous parts: The fruit, leaves and any other green parts
Nightshade, Black (Solanum nigrum L.)
Poisonous parts: The leaves and green berries
Nightshade, Deadly (Atropa bella-donna L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts are very poisonous
Oleander (Nerium oleander L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts, especially the leaves and flowers
Onga-onga or Tree Nettle (Urtica ferox G.Forst.)
Poisonous parts: The fine white stinging hairs are violently and can cause death if badly stung
Peach (Prunus persica (L.) Batsch)
Poisonous parts: The raw pip that is found inside the fruit stone
Poppy (Papaver spp.)
Includes Iceland, Shirley and Oriental poppies
Poisonous parts: The unripe seeds
Poroporo (Solanum aviculare G.Forst.)
Poisonous parts: The leaves and green berries
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)
Poisonous parts: Green potatoes and the berries
Privet (Ligustrum vulgare L.)
Poisonous parts: The leaves and fruit
Queen of the Night (Cestrum nocturnum L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts
Rangiora (Brachyglottis repanda J.R.Forst. & G.Forst.)
Poisonous parts: All parts, especially the flowers and sap
Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)
Poisonous parts: All parts
Spindle Tree (Euonymus europaeus L.)
Poisonous parts: The fruit and leaves
Thornapple or Jimsons Weed (Datura stramonium L.)
Poisonous parts: All parts, except the soft, black petals
White Cedar (Melia azedarach L.)
Poisonous parts: The fruit

Web-notes: Poisonous Plant Links

Poisonous Plants in NZ by HE Connor
Poisonous Plants poster
Illustrated 248 page book by
H E Connor Poisonous Plants in New Zealand
Poisonous Plants Poster depicting some of the more common poisonous plants within New Zealand
Both available from Manaaki Whenua Press

Further information and lists on Poisonous Plants in New Zealand
are available from Landcare Research
, including:

  • Plants in New Zealand Poisonous to Children, also available here PDF
    (this pamphlet replaces the separate lists for the North and South Islands).
  • Safety in pre-school centres: plants to avoid, also available here PDF

Get Acrobat Reader

 

To contact the New Zealand National Poisons Centre:

0800 POISON / 0800 764 766 — for poisons advice 24 hours a day seven days a week.
(03) 479 7248 - for all other enquiries between 9am and 5pm week days.
(03) 477 0509 — facsimile.
E-mail — poisons@otago.ac.nz

Websites:

If there are serious symptoms of poisoning, treat as an emergency and dial 111 for an ambulance.

 

Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database

This is a growing reference that includes plant images, pictures of affected animals and presentations concerning the botany, chemistry, toxicology, diagnosis and prevention of poisoning of animals by plants and other natural flora (fungi, etc.).

Home | Journal | Newsletter | Conferences
Awards | Join RNZIH | RNZIH Directory | Links

© 2000–2014 Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
Last updated: September 2, 2010