Poisonous Pepper Plants and Foliage

Written by k.c. morgan
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Poisonous Pepper Plants and Foliage
Home garden with potentially poisonous plants. (poisonous plants image by green 308 from Fotolia.com)

Many gardeners choose plants for specific reasons, be it beautiful foliage or soil compatibility. Even commonly sold plants, however, may be toxic to you and to your pets. Some poisonous pepper plants and foliage may be just waiting to cause trouble around your garden.

Other People Are Reading

Types

When large amounts of chilli peppers are eaten, they may cause a burning, stinging irritation in the mouth. Because of this reaction, hot peppers (Capsicum annuum), also known as chilli peppers, are considered mildly poisonous to humans when ingested in extremely large quantities. Hot peppers are annuals and are native to tropical regions in America. North Carolina State University says the leaves and fruits of the plant are toxic when ingested, and could create mild dermatitis when they come in contact with the skin. Only large amounts of hot peppers will create a toxic reaction. The Brazilian Peppertree belongs to the same plant group as poison ivy, poison sumac and poison oak. Like its botanical cousins, the foliage of the Brazilian Peppertree may create a skin reaction. Ornamental pepper plants are part of the nightshade plant family, which contains toxins that affect the digestive system. The ornamental pepper plant, also known as the winter cherry, is poisonous to dogs, cats and horses.

Poisonous Pepper Plants and Foliage
Chilli pepper growing in the garden (hot yellow peppers image by Robert Yoder from Fotolia.com)

Identification

Brazilian pepper trees are considered large shrubs or small trees, growing to approximately 30 feet in height. The leaves of the tree are 1 to 2 inches long and reddish in colour. White flower clusters, 2 to 3 inches long, and bright red clusters of fruit grow on the stems. Chilli peppers also grow small flowers, which appear white or green in colour. The fruit of the plants grow with a tapering point at the bottom.

Effects

Severe mouth pain and skin irritation may result from eating massive amounts of chilli peppers all at once. In severe cases, vomiting and diarrhoea may also occur. Chilli peppers are mildly poisonous to humans only if very large amounts are ingested. If your cat or dog ingests poisonous pepper plants and foliage, you may noticed excess drooling, diarrhoea and vomiting. Animals may also experience rapid breathing, difficulty walking, seizures and even death. The Brazilian pepper tree is known mostly for causing dermatitis, but some have experienced respiratory stress while the tree is flowering. When ornamental pepper plants are eaten by dogs and cats, respiratory difficulty and shock may result. Gastrointestinal disturbances are also associated with pepper plant poisoning.

Prevention/Solution

Keep animals from eating poisonous pepper plants and foliage by placing them out of reach of your cats and dogs. Plant the peppers in a hard-to-reach location, or put up low fencing to discourage animals. If keeping animals away from poisonous plants proves impossible, simply dig up and discard the toxic peppers in your garden.

Treatment

If your pet does accidentally eat too much of a poisonous pepper plant, vomiting is the best treatment. Induce vomiting when possible, then contact your veterinarian to apprise them of the situation. The vet may recommend that you bring the animal in for inspection.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.