Daffodils might appear innocent from the outside but daffodils are actually incredibly poisonous and toxic. This is the case for all parts of the daffodil too: The flowers, the leaves and the bulb. They might look nice but they truly are a silent killer.
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Dangers of Eating Daffodils
When it comes to eating daffodils, there are two main causes of toxicity:
Lycorine in Daffodil Bulbs
The first toxic chemical that can be found in daffodils is lycorine. It is actually common in a lot of flowering plants. Fortunately, you won’t get poisoned from touching the bulbs and you’re only like to get sick from consuming a little. It’s when you consume a lot of the bulb that they become highly toxic. This is actually the case for both humans and animals so it’s worth bearing in mind if you have dogs or cats at home.
Calcium Oxalate Crystals in Daffodil Plants
Calcium oxalate crystals are the other dangerous element in daffodils and can actually be found in the leaves and plants. Some people will get a minor reaction solely from touching the plants which can lead to ‘lily rash’. That’s why it’s advisable to wear gloves when handling daffodils.
The symptoms and effects are far greater if you were to ingest the leaves and the side effects can be quite dramatic.
Side Effects from Eating Daffodils
If you accidentally ingest daffodils then there are a range of side effects you may experience depending on the part of the plant you have consumed and the toxic element that is affecting you. These side effects can include:
Diarrhoea and Nausea – This is the main side effect of lycorine poisoning. In general, any form of stomach problem is likely to be attributed to being poisoned by your daffodils.
Burning in the Mouth – Calcium oxalate crystals can cause immediate pain, particularly in the mouth. It will give you a strong burning sensation which can then lead to difficulty swelling, hoarseness and swelling in the throat.
Ultimately, the side effects of eating daffodils are similar to the side effects you will experience when eating anything toxic. Your body will do its best to get rid of the poison.
What to Do If You Eat Daffodils
If you’re experiencing the side effects above and happen to have handled daffodils recently then there is a chance you have been poisoned. If your vomiting is not too severe, then continue to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration but your body will continue to flush the poison out the best it can.
If symptoms last for an extended period of time, however, then you will want to visit your local A&E or doctor’s surgery. In the UK, ringing 111 would be your best next step.
Other Questions about Eating Daffodils
Below are some other questions people often ask when it comes to eating daffodils. If you do find yourself with further questions, however, then please do ask in the comments area at the bottom of this page:
Can Dogs Eat Daffodils?
Daffodils are highly toxic to both dogs and cats so if you have either of these pets then it might be best to avoid planting daffodils in your garden as it will be challenging to stop them being curious and potentially ingesting these toxic plants.
Can Rabbits Eat Daffodils?
Although wild bunnies hop around daffodils in the wild, this doesn’t mean they are safe for them. Generally speaking, anything grown from a bulb can be poisonous to rabbits so it’s something we would avoid planting in the garden.