Mature ferns sprout … In the United States, many ornamental shrubs and small trees contain edible red, blue or white berries. But be very careful, because even though the Ostrich Fern isn’t poisonous to dogs there are many other ferns that are. Are Vegetable Plants Poisonous to Animals? Asparagus fern plants are mildly toxic to humans and cats and dogs. The foxtail fern (Asparagus densiflorus) is grown as a houseplant or in the garden as a ground cover in USDA zones 9 through 11. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s doctors recorded a higher than average incidence of people suffering from gastric cancer in the county of Gwynedd, north Wales. The seed pods of asparagus plants are toxic for humans and also for dogs and cats, producing an allergic reaction in some individuals. There are several reasons why an asparagus fern may turn yellow. Botanical name: Asparagus spp. Yes, the asparagus fern produces white blooms that turn into the poisonous red-orange berries. You may not be surprised to get cancer if you smoke, or drink too much alcohol, but no one expects to get it from drinking water. Accordingly, are ferns dangerous to humans? Their dark leaves, white flowers, and low maintenance needs make them a very popular choice for Spring décor. "The young ferns are quite tasty, a bit like asparagus with almonds," says Holm Rasmussen. **This plant may cause skin irritation and mild nausea or vomiting. "PTQ is somewhat like sugar, it dissolves easily and is just as mobile as pollutants like nitrates," says Holm Rasmussen. Staghorn ferns are definitely pet-safe (cats, dogs & horses), as stated by the ASPCA. They also aren’t toxic to humans so you don’t need to worry about them having around your children who will likely pick things up and put them in their mouths. Kate Ravilious reports on a shocking discovery. Chief among these reasons is that it’s dehydrated. "PTQ is washed out of the bracken fronds by rain and since the bracken has the most biomass in summer, this is when we find the highest concentra tions of PTQ in water," he explains. Now Lars Holm Rasmussen, a scientist at The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark, has shown that PTQs from bracken can enter the water supply and that some of us may be gulping poison every day. These are also mildly poisonous, causing discomfort after ingestion. In most cases, they will only cause a mild reaction, according to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service. Bracken has really taken a hold in this wild, upland area, creeping up the slopes of Snowdon and the surrounding mountains. If consumed, the berries of the plant may cause gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Now he has shown that eating bracken isn't the only way of ingesting PTQs. "The situation is worst in sandy soils with a pH between five and six. This listing of toxic and non-toxic plants contains the most popular plants found in homes. The asparagus fern is another very common houseplant, loved for its fine, feathery foliage. General description: A perennial vine or herb arising from a rhizome or tuber and grown as an indoor or outdoor ornamental plant.The vine form is often used for … Some varieties have been bred to produce primarily male plants whilst others produce both. There are no easy solutions to this problem. Asparagus fern is toxic to cats and dogs, causing skin irritation with exposure to the sap. In most cases, they will only cause a mild reaction, according to North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service. AboutKidsHealth is proud to partner with the following sponsors as they support our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of children in Canada and around the world by making accessible health care information available via the internet. Farmers often keep the buttermilk for their family, giving it to their children as a healthy drink. The foliage of many asparagus ferns can cause skin irritation. To prevent any toxic reaction, harvest shoots when they are between 6 and 10 inches (15 to 25cm) tall and the buds are still tightly closed. Holly however is not poisonous but will not be very nice to eat! Small villages and farms are most vulnerable because they often take their water from just one source. One of the most delicate ferns, the maidenhair produces semicircles of narrow fronds on thin, black stalks. If a dog or cat ingests the berries of this plant, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain can occur. According to the ASPCA, both the leaves and berries of the plant contain chemicals that are toxic to cats. Holm Rasmussen believes that the water supply to some of the farms and villages in Gwynedd may have been loaded with PTQs from bracken. PTQs can be transferred into milk when cows nibble on bracken, particularly during the spring when the shoots are young and tasty. In fact, all members of the lily family are toxic to cats. It turns out the asparagus fern is also toxic to both dogs and cats–potentially causing allergic dermatitis and vomiting or abdominal pain–but luckily, it’s a plant Minou has largely ignored. *These plants may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. However, if consumed, they are toxic to humans, dogs, and cats. The Asparagus Fern is not actually a fern, but a member of the Liliaceae family. What is more, PTQs are attracted towards water, so tend to concentrate in the buttermilk, rather than enter the cream, butter and cheese that will have been made from the fat that was skimmed off. Further afield PTQ contamination may also explain gastric and oesophageal cancer hot spots in South America. All parts of the foxtail fern are poisonous for pets and humans. North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service; Poisonous Plants: Asparagus officinalis, North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension Service; Poisonous Plants: Asparagus densiflorus, United States Department of Agriculture: Plant Hardiness Zone Map, Mother Earth News: All About Growing Asparagus. African violet Alyssum Asparagus fern; Jade plant: Maple (seeds and young leaves) Marigold* Money plant: Mountain ash: Mulberry: The asparagus fern (Asparagus sprengeri) is a common and fast-growing houseplant. Common plants in this category include yews, asparagus fern, red-berried elder and red baneberry, to name a few. For some people, Holm Rasmussen's discovery is already too late. Farmers and landowners are trying to reduce the amount of bracken, but it is difficult to get rid of and the most effective mechanism is to spray hillsides with a noxious pesticide: not ideal for improving the water supply. Harvest the stems when they are 6 to 10 inches high, before any budding begins. Peace lilies are one of the most common flowering houseplants, particularly around Easter time. Asparagus aethiopicus is an invasive plant in Florida and other areas, but I can find no substantiation that Asparagus densiflorus (foxtail fern) is invasive. The berries of the Asparagus fern can cause gastrointestinal distress, with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea when eaten, and the sap can induce a contact rash. This buttermilk will have had the highest proportion of PTQs because it has not been diluted with milk from other, less bracken-infested farms. Other common names: Sprenger’s asparagus, Climbing asparagus fern. However, purple asparagus is more preferable as it’s richer in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins. But their toxic qualities are also quite clear, with higher incidences of cancer in both these countries. Asparagus ferns are toxic to humans as well as dogs. 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