Please, don't eat the azaleas

Few things are as aesthetically pleasing as a beautiful garden. But many flowers commonly used for their beauty are toxic if eaten and could pose a threat to young children.

"Choose those beautiful yard plants carefully because some of them can be toxic if ingested. The joy of watching junior beginning to walk could be offset by a medical crisis if he eats those previously unreachable flowers,” says Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt, a medical toxicologist and emergency medicine physician at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Azaleas, caladiums, chrysanthemums, daffodils, hyacinth, hydrangea, iris, jonquils, morning glories, mums and periwinkles are all potentially harmful flowers. So stick with begonias, crape myrtles, gardenias, geraniums, honeysuckle, impatiens, marigolds, petunias, roses and zinnia, all of which are considered safe.

Call the Texas Poison Center Network at 1-800-POISON-1 (1-800-764-7661) for more information.

Visit to learn more about emergency medicine’s clinical services at UT Southwestern.

Media Contact: Connie Piloto

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June 2010 News Tips