French Bulldog Smelling Flowers

Plants That Are Poisonous To Dogs -
Common & Native To Australia

Australia is a bit of a bear trap sometimes. There are plenty of wild animals, creepy crawlies and poisonous plants. You can encounter these just walking your dog. However, this is particularly important if you hike or camp with your dog often.

So you’re here to know the answer to the question: what plants are toxic to dogs? We have you covered!

This list is a compilation of poisonous plants for dogs that you can find in Australia. As best as we can, we’ll let you know where you’ll find them, why they are poisonous and just how toxic they are.

Red-haired chihuahua puppy sniffing flowers of wild rose

Native Australian Plants Toxic to Dogs

Native Australian plants are indigenous to Australia’s ecosystem. They were here before humans and are therefore fixed parts of the land. As it happens, relatively few of our native species are toxic to dogs. (1)

Here are three notable mentions:

Acacia (Wattles)

Australian Wattle Tree

Native to: Tasmania

Dangerous parts:

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: vomiting, anxiety, disorientation, shaking, drooling, seizures, and sudden death.

Acacia trees and shrubs are characterised by their gorgeous orangey yellow puffball flowers. They stand majestically on the Australian landscape, but all parts are poison. Yes, seriously. From the leaves to the flowers to the seeds. All parts of an Acacia tree or shrub is highly toxic to your dog. Luckily, dogs are relatively unlikely to consume acacia in any way. Just make sure they don’t consume any seeds on the ground.

Australian Ivy Palm (Brassaia actinophylla)

Australian Ivy Palm

Native to: Northern Territory

Dangerous parts: The leaves

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Pain/swelling around the mouth, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing

You can recognise an Ivy Palm by its bright pink flowers and drooping leaves. It’s also known as the Australian Umbrella tree because of how the leaves hang. If your dog ingests the leaves or flowers, it can make them very sick.

Eucalyptus (Gum trees)

image

Native to: NSW, Victoria and Tasmania

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, depression and weakness

Though we may love eucalyptus and tout it for its healing properties, it’s the complete opposite for dogs. Eucalyptus is very dangerous to dogs. If your pup eats the leaves at all, rush them to the vet as soon as you can.


30 Common Australian Plants Toxic to Dogs

Over the years, plenty of plants have been naturalised and imported from around the world. Here is a list of common plants in Australia plants toxic to dogs. But they are not necessarily native to Australia. They are just easy to find.

1. Angels Trumpet (Brugmansia)

Angels Trumpet

Dangerous parts: Flowers, leaves

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Disorientation, increased heart rate, dilated pupils, loss of appetite, vomiting.

Angel’s Trumpet has such pretty flowers. In those flowers lies a deadly toxin called tropane alkaloids. Luckily, Angel’s Trumpet poisoning rarely kills dogs unless they consume a huge amount of them. Most likely your dog’s symptoms will be mild. But they should still get veterinary attention.

2. Autumn Crocus 

Autumn Crocus

Dangerous parts: Flowers

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Kidney damage, severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, respiratory failure

Autumn crocus is often mistaken for its spring flowering sister. The spring flower is only mildly toxic. The autumn crocus, however, is a deadly autumn flower. Their bright blooms hold a toxin that can make your dog incredibly unwell. If they ingest even a little bit of the plant, take them to a vet immediately.

3. Azalea (Rhododendron) 

pink azalea

Dangerous parts: Flowers

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea

All rhododendron varieties are toxic to dogs. We mention Azaleas because they are super common in Australia. Azaleas and other rhododendrons contain grayanotoxins. These toxins interrupt the sodium channels in cardiac and skeletal muscles. As little as 0.2% of your dog-s bodyweight is enough to kill them. 

4. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) 

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and bristly locust (Robini)

Dangerous parts: All parts but especially leaves and seeds

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Weakness, depression, vomiting, diarrhea

Black Locust is a highly toxic plant to dogs. The culprits are toxins called toxalbumins. These cause cell damage and cell death. 

5. Castor oil plant (Ricinus communis)

Castor oil plant

Dangerous parts: All parts but especially seeds

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Burning of the mouth, kidney failure, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions.

The castor oil plant is one of the most deadly plants in the world for dogs and humans alike. The seeds contain ricin which is a highly toxic chemical. Fun fact: Ricin is the poison used to kill Bulgarian dissident George Markov in London in 1978. A small amount was shot into his leg and he mysteriously died a few days later from rapid onset illness. If your dog eats any part of the castor oil plant, they may face the same fate!

6. Cherry tree (Prunus serrulata)

cherry tree

Dangerous parts: All apart from the cherry flesh

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, red gums, sudden death

Cherry tree plants contain cyanide. Did you know that? I didn’t before researching for this article. All parts of the plant apart from the cherry part contain cyanide which is poisonous to - well - everyone. 

7. Daffodil (Narcissus)

Daffodils

Dangerous parts: Bulbs and flowers. Also dangerous to drink the vase water that cut daffodils are in

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain

Daffodils aren’t severely toxic. Your dog needs to consume a fair amount to be poisoned, even then, will rarely die from daffodil poisoning. That said, these bright and beautiful flowers can make your dog very unwell, so do consult a vet if they eat some. 

8. Daphne 

Daphne Shrub

Dangerous parts: Bark, leaves and fruit

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Blistering around mouth and tongue, bloody diarrhea, vomiting

Daphne is poisonous to humans, farm animals, cats and dogs. No one can easily eat Daphne and survive! If your dog eats some of the leaves or fruit, they will likely show clustering around their mouth, tongue and gums quite quickly. Luckily the fruit has a bitter taste so hopefully, your dog won’t eat too much.

9. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Devil's Ivy Plant

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, burning around the mouth, decreased appetite, vomiting

Devil’s Ivy is often called Pothos. This is a very common unkillable houseplant which is why they are so common in households. Fortunately, these aren’t that toxic to dogs. Relatively mild actually. It will cause some respiratory upset if your dog ingests it but nothing too major. When bitten or chewed, pothos releases crystals that burn the airways. 

10. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

Dumb cane plant

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, burning around the mouth, decreased appetite, vomiting

Dumb cane contains the same toxin as Devil’s Ivy, so the reaction is very similar. 

11. Elderberry (Sambucus)

Elderberry

Dangerous parts: All parts except fully ripe berries

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, red gums, sudden death

Elderberry is another plant that has cyanide running through its veins. All parts apart from the fully ripened berry are highly toxic to your dog. Cyanide is not to be messed with. It can cause severe poisoning within 10-15 minutes. It can kill your dog within 30 minutes. If you think your dog has eaten any part of the elderberry part, act fast!

12. Elephant Ear Plant (Colocasia)

Elephant Ear Plant

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, burning around the mouth, decreased appetite, vomiting

Elephant Ear Plant belongs to the same family of toxic plants as Devil’s Ivy and Dumb Cane. Read those sections for more detail. But suffice to say, this is a mild-moderate poisoning. 

13. English Ivy (Hedera helix) 

Australian ivy palm

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea

Like other ivies, English ivy is mildly/moderately poisonous to dogs. It will cause vomiting and diarrhea within a few hours if enough is ingested. 

14. Foxgloves (Digitalis)

foxglove

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Abnormal heart rate, drooling, nausea, vomiting, dilated pupils, tremors and seizures

Foxgloves may be beautiful but are very toxic to animals (including us!). These gorgeous trumpet shapes flowers contain heart killing toxins. These are called cardiac glycoside toxins. If your dog ingests enough of the plant, it could be life-threatening

15. Golden Chain (Laburnum)

golden chain (Laburnum anagyroides)

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Vomiting, diarrhea, blue tint to the skin, convulsions, dehydration, weakness

Don’t let the sunny bright yellow flowers on a Golden Chain tree fool you. This plant is poison all over! It’s unlikely to kill your dog straight away but may if left untreated. It will certainly make them very sick. 

16. Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Hemlock

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, vomiting, paralysis, death

Hemlock is often named Poison Hemlock for a reason. It is highly toxic and can severely harm your dog if they eat any part of the plant. You can save them if you act fast and call an emergency vet immediately. 

17. Holly (Ilex varieties)

Holly

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, lip smacking,

Christmas is not a good time for dogs! Holly is just one of the yuletide varieties that can screw over your pup quite royally. Apart from the spiky leaves that can injure your pup, ingesting the berries or anything else will release a cocktail of toxins. 

18. Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas in vase

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Depression, lethargy, vomiting, raised heart rate, diarrhea

Hydrangeas are a gardener’s staple. They are also mildly poisonous to dogs. Hydrangea poisoning is quite easy to solve. 

19. Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Jack-in-the-pulpit

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, burning around the mouth and tongue, vomiting

Jack-in-the-pulpit is perfectly safe when cooked and dried. The mother plant is incredibly toxic. It contains calcium oxalate crystals which are responsible for a burning sensation in the mouth and oesophagus. It’s rarely fatal but should be taken relatively seriously. 

20. Leather Flower (Clematis)

Leather Flower

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, vomiting, bloody stools, blistering around the mouth, abdominal pain

Clematis or Leather Flower is an interesting case. It is part of the ranunculus family. It contains toxins called protoamenonins. These cause mild symptoms if not much of the plant is eaten. If your dog eats a lot, the poisoning can be quite severe. Even deadly if left untreated. 

21. Lily of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis)

Lily of the valley

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Vomiting, diarrhea, decreased heart rate, seizures, heart palpitations.

Lily of the Valley is one of my favourite flowers! So heartbreaking to hear that this widespread pretty weed is toxic to dogs. The toxicity is quite severe. You need to rush your dog to an emergency vet immediately if they display any symptoms of Lily of the Valley poisoning. 

22. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Peace Lily

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Irritated mouth, drooling, vomiting (sometimes)

Peace lilies are an interesting inclusion to this list of plants poisonous to dogs. Because they technically aren’t. Peace lilies aren’t dog safe plants either. It’s somewhere in the middle. If your dog eats any part of your blooming peace lily, they will likely have some stomach upset and irritation around their mouth. Usually, symptoms are mild enough not to need veterinary attention. So be wary with your dog around peace lilies, but don’t panic too much. There are far more nasty toxic plants to dogs on this list to worry about! 

23. Madagascar jasmine (Stephanotis floribunda)

Madagascar Jasmine

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Allergic skin reaction, heart damage, liver damage, central nervous system issues

Madagascar jasmine is also known as wax flower. It is mostly irritating as opposed to outright toxic, though it depends on how much of your dog eats. If in doubt, take them to a vet anyway. 

24. Mistletoe (Viscum album)

Mistletoe

Dangerous parts: Berries

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, collapse, seizures, death in extreme cases

Didn’t I say that Christmas is a bad time for dogs? Well here is another festive plant that dogs should avoid. The symptoms of mistletoe poisoning are similar to that of Holly poisoning. The symptoms are pretty mild if your dog only eats a little. If they eat a lot, they can display more severe symptoms that may need medical attention. 

25. Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Oleander

Dangerous parts: All parts especially leaves and flowers

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Depression, abdominal pain, drooling, low blood sugar, weakened heart, sudden death

Oleander is a truly gorgeous plant but very deadly. It has a compound in the plant called oleandrin. This is a cardiac glycoside - the same toxins that foxgloves have. 

26. Red Sage (Lantana camara)

Red Sage

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, liver failure, difficulty breathing

Lantana comes in many forms. Red sage, yellow sage and shrub verbena are part of the lantana umbrella. These are all very toxic to dogs and other small animals if consumed in large quantities. In small quantities, it’s a slight stomach upset. 

27. Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta)

Sago Palm

Dangerous parts: All parts but especially the seeds

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, weakness, seizures, abdominal pain, jaundice, bloody tarry stool.

All parts of Sago Palm are considered to be poisonous to dogs. They contain a toxin that causes severe liver failure in just 2-3 days after the time of eating. It’s quite scary! If you think that your dog has eaten any part of a Sago Palm, contact an emergency vet immediately.

28. Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum) 

star of bethlehem

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Drooling, vomiting, abnormal heart rhythm, dilated pupils, seizures, tremors.

Star-of-Bethlehem is in the same family of plants as Lily of the Valley, Oleanders and Foxgloves. You can expect the same symptoms and levels of toxicity as those. 

29. Tulip (Tulipa - yes really!)

Tulip

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Vomiting, nausea, drooling, heart issues, breathing difficulties

Tulips are mildly poisonous to dogs. Generally, they will only experience some stomach upset and drooling if they eat a small amount. Tulips don’t taste good so it’s unlikely your dog will want to munch on tulips out of habit! If they consume enough, however, it can cause some heart problems and breathing difficulties. (2)

30. Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Brunfelsia)

Brunfelsia

Dangerous parts: All parts

Reaction if your dog is poisoned: Vomiting, anxiousness, disorientation and coordination issues, seizures, tremors, shock.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plants are quite unique as toxic plants. They attack the nervous system with a depressant toxin and a stimulant toxin. This leads to mostly coordination and mental health issues that you’ll notice. It’s like your dog has been drugged! If they display these symptoms, rush them to an emergency vet immediately for investigation. 


Final Takeaways

There are lots of plants poisonous to dogs in Australia. (3) If you are wary of the signs and the major plants to look out for, you can keep your lovely pup safe! Remember that this list is not exhaustive, and you can do more research with plenty of resources out there. If in doubt, simply Google “plant name poisonous to dogs” and you’ll discover if you need to be worried or not.

We’ll leave you with this parting advice. If you suspect that your dog has been poisoned by encountering one or more of these plants, contact an emergency veterinarian or RSPCA hospital immediately for medical advice. Deaths are rare from plant poisoning if you act quick enough.

FAQ

What are the signs that my dog has been poisoned?

Typically, the signs of poisoning are:

  • Vomiting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Heart palpitations

Some toxic plants have more specific reactions. We have listed the likely signs of poisoning next to each potential culprit above.

References

  1. Steen, J. September 13, 2018. “10 common plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats”. ABC Australia. Retrieved October 2, 2021. https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/common-poisonous-plants-to-dogs-and-cats/10105914
  2. “Spring plants poisonous to dogs”. May 3, 2019. Blue Cross. Retrieved October 2, 2021. https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/spring-plant-poisonous-to-dogs
  3. Beer, C. May 11, 2017. “Dogs and toxic plants in Australia list”. Pets 4 Life Australia. Retrieved October 2, 2021. https://pets4life.com.au/dogs-and-toxic-plants-in-australia-list/
Olivia De Santos

Olivia is a professional writer and animal lover. She loves spending time with her Podengo and Flat Coated Retriever, and writing pieces to help people to be better dog owners

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