Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Garden Plants: Vegetables

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Broad Bean, Faba Bean, Horse Bean
Vicia faba

Description: A legume, leaves have 2 - 6 leaflets, flowers dull white with purple spot. Grown for the beans, which are brown/green, purplish or black. Plants grow to 1.5 m.

Poisonous Part: Beans (seeds), raw or cooked, pollen. Only certain people are affected.

Symptoms: “Favism,” headache, dizziness, nausea, yawning, vomiting, abdominal pain, elevated temperature, death in some cases. Reactions within minutes after exposure to pollen or within 5 - 24 hours after eating the beans. Affects only certain people, especially those of Mediterranean descent.
Ground Cherry
Physalis longifolia, P. peruviana

Description: An annual in Alberta, grown for its fruit. Produces small yellow fruit in lantern-shaped husks. Plants grow to 1 m; pointed oval leaves are soft and hairy. Flowers are yellow with purple markings.

Poisonous Part: Raw fruit; cooking or preserving destroys toxin.

Symptoms: Not yet recorded in humans. Has been known to poison sheep and other animals. (Internal poisoning: unknown)
Solanum tuberosum

Description: Commonly grown vegetable with the tops (vines) ranging from spreading to upright, usually green. Underground stems produce the edible portion of the plant, the potato tuber. The flowers are white or pink and about 2.5 cm in diameter.

Poisonous Part: Vines, sprouts and skins that have been induced to turn green by exposure to light; spoiled potatoes.

Symptoms: Digestive upset, cold perspiration, lowered temperature, confusion, weakness, numbness, paralysis and death if sufficient quantities ingested. (Internal poisoning: solanine)
Rheum rhabarbarum

Description: A deep-rooted perennial grown for its large thick leaf stalks, which are stewed or used for pies and sauces. The underground portion consists of large, fleshy and somewhat woody rhizomes and a fibrous root system. Leaves are 30 - 75 cm long and have large veins that join at the base of the leaf. A popular food since it is available early in the season.

Poisonous Part: Leaves are poisonous; leaf stalks are edible.

Symptoms: Severe abdominal cramps, nausea, weakness, drowsiness, vomiting, internal bleeding, convulsions and death if sufficient quantities eaten. Can cause poisoning in livestock. (Internal poisoning: oxalic acid and soluble oxalates)
Lycopersicon esculentum

Description: A common, strong-smelling vegetable grown in Alberta as an annual or a short-lived perennial in a greenhouse. The stems are spreading, round, soft and hairy when young but become angular and hard when older. Leaves can be 10 - 30 cm long and are divided into 7 - 9 leaflets. Yellow, usually nodding, well-shaped flowers are borne on clusters on the stem between leaves. The green fruit turns red when ripe.

Poisonous Part: Leaves, stems.

Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains, constipation or bloody diarrhea, sluggishness, salivation, labored breathing, trembling, weakness, loss of feeling, paralysis, death. (Internal poisoning: steroid alkaloids)

Other Documents in the Series

  Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Introduction
Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Garden Plants: Vegetables - Current Document
Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Garden Plants: Flowers
Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Trees and Shrubs
Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Field Plants
Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Forest Plants
Poisonous Outdoor Plants - Marsh Plants
Poisonous Outdoor Plants - References
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Robert Spencer.
This document is maintained by Jennifer Rutter.
This information published to the web on November 22, 2010.