Are Ivy Plants Toxic?

Updated April 17, 2017

English ivy is an attractive plant, but it is a toxic hazard to both animals and humans. Poison ivy is another plant which can be quite harmful to humans and animals, especially young children.

English Ivy

English ivy can be quite toxic to humans and animals if it is eaten in large enough quantities. The berries of English ivy are very poisonous to children. According to The Baby Safety Site, signs that ivy has been ingested include laboured breathing, coma, convulsions and excitation. The leaves and stems of the English ivy plant can cause contact dermatitis on those with sensitive skin who make contact with the plant.

Poison Ivy

Poison ivy is a toxic plant, which commonly just causes an irritating skin rash upon contact. Poison ivy is typically identified as a plant with three leaves joined closely together with serrated edges. The resin on the plant usually immediately creates red itchy bumps or blisters on the skin, which can be treated with calamine lotion.

Ground Ivy

Ground ivy is a weed that grows low to the ground and spreads out in a sprawl of leaves. According to the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine Library, ground ivy is a native plant of Europe and is commonly found in the state of Illinois. Animals that eat large amounts of the plant may experience dilated pupils, laboured breathing and profuse slobbering.

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About the Author

Alex Smith began writing professionally in 2010. Her writing focuses on topics in culture, society and technology. She attended the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago.