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Daphne

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs, Horses, Cows

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate; Potentially severe with large ingestion

Common signs to watch for:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Ulceration or blistering of the mouth or gastrointestinal tract
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Colic

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There are numerous species of Daphne in the Thymelaeaceae family of plants, all with varying degrees of toxicity. Most of them are known for their scented flowers and poisonous berries (fruit). This common hedge, shrub, and rock garden plant is found throughout North America. The toxins, diterpenes, are found in the bark, leaves and fruit. When ingested by animals, ulceration or blistering of the mouth, esophagus, and stomach may occur. Other signs may include drooling, vomiting, bloody diarrhea. Following large ingestion of this plant, seizures, coma, and death are possible (though rare). The fruits have a very bitter taste which often deters large ingestions. This plant is also toxic to farm animals.

Poison type: Plants

Scientific name: Daphne spp.

Alternate names: copse laurel, dwarf bay, dwarf laurel, February daphne, flax olive, garland daphne, genkwa, lady laurel, mezereum, olive spurge, spurge flax, spurge olive, spurge laurel, wild pepper, winter daphne