We eat many plants, herbs and so forth in our daily diet. But, we must remember to be choosy. Some plants, trees or shrubs are potential killers of man. Some part of the ornamental plants or flowers in your yard may contain deadly poison. Many poisonous plants are so common and seemingly innocuous you do not suspect their toxic qualities.
It is easy to be deceived by plants.. one part may be edible while another is poisonous.
Nerium oleander L.
Common name: Oleander, rosebay, haban
Found in wadi bottom with permanent water. Native to the Mediterranean, a common ornamental in tropical and semi-tropical regions.
All parts of this plant are highly poisonous, contain toxic cardiac glycosides.
Adenium obesum Roem. & Schult
Common name: Desert Rose, Asfeed
Found on dry rocky areas, very common in Dhofar. Native to E Africa, widespread in tropical Africa and southern Arabia.
All parts are toxic to animals.
Uses: Sap used to treat swelling and joint pain. In Africa the sap is used as an arrow poison.
Calotropis procera (Aiton) W.T.Aiton
Common names: Sodom’s apple, giant milkweed, ashkhar
Found on sandy soils and gravel plains.
Very toxic, unpalatable to livestock. An indicator of overgrazing. Attracts the plain tiger (Danaus chrysippus)
Uses: in traditional medicinal such as treatment of infected wounds and skin problems.
Azadirachta indica A.Juss
Common names: shereesh, sherish, neem
Native of India and China it is cultivated in Arabia.
The plant has medicinal properties. The dry fruits, however are used as insecticide and ingestion of 6-8 of them can cause a child’s death.
Datura metel L.
Common names: Devil’s trumpet, maranhah
Found in moist, sunny areas where the soil contains clay, often as a weed in cultivated and disturbed areas. native to Americas, now pan-tropical.
Very toxic in overdose but used in moderation as a sedative, the seeds in particular are narcotic.
Ricinus communis L.
Common name: castor oil plant, arash
The seeds contain the poison Ricin which is water soluble and not present in the oil.
Another toxic plants:
Common Name :Pencil tree, milkbush, finger tree, rubber euphorbia
All parts are Poisonous.
Caesalpinia pulcherrima (L.) SW.
Common English name: Pride of Barbados
Seeds are poisonous. Ingestion of unripe pods can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Lantana Camara, Common Name : Red Sage
Species affected include cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, guinea pigs, and rabbits. Fatal. Affects lungs, kidneys, heart and nervous system.
Solanum incanum L. Common name: Palestine nightshade, shirinjiban. Toxic, can cause death in animals.
Iphiona aucheri (Boiss.) Anderb., common name: khassya. Very poisonous, and may kill camels.
Solanum nigrum L., common name: Black nightshade, majaj, shajarat al gharub. Toxic to livestock.
Thevetia peruviana, Yellow oleander, seeds and flowers are poisonous.
"There are other plants )not listed her) toxic.
So, be careful when dealing with plants"
Photos by: Ali Al Rasbi
Ministry of Environment & Climate Affair
• Ghazanfar, S.A. , 2003, 2007. Flora of the Sultanate of Oman. National Botanic Garden (Belgium), V. 1 & 2.
• Pickering, H. & Patzelt, A., 2008. Field Guide to the Wild Plants of Oman. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Garden, Kew.
• M. G. Miller, M. Miranda, 1988. Plants of Dhofar. The Office of the Adviser for Conservation of the Environment, Diwan of Royal Court, Sultanate of Oman.