KIERAN HARRINGTON asked 13 years ago

My wife recently purchased bulbs – mirabilis and hemerocallis were 2 among them. When researching what soil, shade, etc. they like I found that they may be problematic. One website advised washing your hands after coming in contact with mirabilis. Another advised that the seeds of hemerocallis were highly toxic. As we have young children I wonder could you shed any light on this issue?

1 Answers

Gerry Daly Staff answered 3 years ago
Mirabilis, the marvel of Peru, is mildly toxic for a short time and hemerocallis is edible, the flower buds being popular in Asia.

People are often nervous of ‘poisonous’ plants, understandably so, but there are lots of garden plants that can be classed as ‘poisonous’… a tiny few are dangerous, others moderately so.

But in practice, there are very few instances of poisoning. With few exceptions, perhaps daphne berries, children will not eaten plant parts (they won’t eat vegetables for their dinner!) and to taste even one or two bits will usually cause them to be spat out, because most poisonous plants are not palatable, usually very bitter.

While in theory, there is a tiny risk, in practice, the risk is very small. Having said that small children should be supervised in the garden, and potential threats to their safety assessed, and that inludes plants.

Remember that the house itself has stairs, bleach, fires, electirc power and a myriad of truly lethal dangers that we live with and plants are in the minor place compared to that.