There is no other experience like the great outdoors in the great state of Texas. Many of us like to experience nature by visiting our many parks and outdoor spaces where we can see first-hand the abundance of wildlife that calls the Lone Star State home. While most of the plants here are harmless, there are a few that can cause serious problems to those unfortunate enough to eat the wrong berry or plant. Here’s a list of some of the toxic plants that live in the state of Texas.
Native to South America, Lantana Camara is an invasive species but is also considered an ornamental shrub. Because of its aggressive growth, it can usually outcompete surrounding species. It produces green berries, that if eaten, affects the lungs, kidneys, heart and nervous system and can prove to be fatal in livestock.
Another way this invasive plant is a problem on farms is that it produces a chemical that essentially poisons all surrounding plants by prohibiting germination and root growth.
Wisteria is a cascading vine with blue and purple flowers that look spectacular hanging from an archway or crawling up the sides of old brick buildings. But these vines are aggressive growers and can cause serious damage to structures if not controlled properly.
As beautiful as these flowers are, wisteria holds a deadly secret. The entire plant from the seeds to the stem are poisonous if consumed and can cause confusion, speech difficulties, nausea, stomach pains, dizziness, and diarrhea.
Pokeweed is a fast-growing plant that can reach up to 10 feet tall. Its native home is the eastern United States but has been steadily marching westward in recent decades and now is commonly found throughout Texas. It can be found growing in open pastures, fencerows, and anywhere the soil has been disturbed.
As an aggressive grower with thick big leaves, it can easily outcompete smaller, slower species, making it a nuisance to farmers. In the fall the pokeweed produces dark berries that are very eye-catching. Look don’t touch because the berries and every other part of the plant are poisonous if eaten by livestock or curious children.
Moonseed is a deceptive vine that mimics the appearance of wild grapevines, but unlike grapevines the moonseed is poisonous and the moon-shaped seeds inside its grapes can be fatal if eaten. If you look closer you will notice that grapevines have tendrils that grab onto objects for support while the moonseed does not. If you accidentally try a moonseed grape you will notice that it tastes very unpleasant and should spit it out immediately.
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