Toxic Plants

Nova Scotia Poison Centre: 1-800-565-8161

SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR CONFIRMED DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OF BLISTERS AND BURNS.

Direct contact with these plant should be avoided.

Wild Parsnip 

Wild Parsnip plants contain clear, watery juices (sap) that poses significant health risks to those who come in contact with it. The sap triggers burns on the skin and in eyes when activated by sunlight. Direct contact with this plant should be avoided. Wild Parsnip blooms between May and November with small yellow flowers. Flat umbrella-shaped flower heads range from 10-20 cm across. 

Download the Wild Parsnip factsheet (482 PDF)

Wild Parsnip

Cow Parsnip

Cow Parsnip plants secrete a clear, watery sap that poses significant health risks to those who come in contact with it. This sap triggers burns on the skin and in eyes when activated by sunlight. Direct contact with this plant should be avoided. Cow Parsnip is a native plant and has been known to grow in all regions of the province.

Download the Cow Parsnip factsheet (458 PDF)

Cow Parsnip

Giant Hogweed — An Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Nova Scotia

Giant Hogweed plants secrete a clear, watery sap that poses significant health risks to those who come in contact with it. This sap triggers burns on the skin and in eyes when activated by sunlight. Direct contact with this plant should be avoided. This plant is distinct from our native species; it can grow to be 5m tall and its flowers grow in large umbrella shaped clusters.

Download the Giant Hogweed factsheet (432 PDF)

Giant Hogweed

Stinging Nettle

Fine hairs on the leaves and stem of the Stinging Nettle plant break easily and release toxins into the skin. These toxins can trigger a stinging, itching reaction, which appears as a rash. Direct contact with this plant should be avoided. This rigid plant grows to 1-3 m in height and has highly serrated, dark green leaves.

Download the Stinging Nettle factsheet (387 PDF)

Stinging nettle

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy can sometimes be distinguished by its unique green flower and white berries, but more often the plant is not in bloom and its tri-leaf arrangement is its only identifier. All parts of the plant contain the skin irritating oil, therefore direct contact with this plant should be avoided.

Download the Poison Ivy factsheet (439 PDF)

Wild Chervil

Wild Chervil has white flowers that grow in clusters and stems can reach 2 m in height. Wild Chervil plants contain clear, watery juices (sap) that pose some health risk to those who come in contact with it. The sap can trigger mild burns on the skin and in eyes when activated by sunlight. Direct contact with this plant should be avoided.

Download the Wild Chervil factsheet (436 PDF)

Wild Chervil

The Poison Plant Patch

Learn more about the alkaloids, resins, oils and toxic proteins found in house plants, annuals, perennials or native wildflowers. More than 50 plants, mushrooms and algae are included.