Plants can be beautiful on the outside and deadly on the inside. Florida is home to plants that can not only make people and pets sick, but in the worse cases, can be fatal. Plant these specimens where children and pets will not be able to have access. Hummingbirds and butterflies are not affected. They do not eat the leaves or fruit, but instead come for the nectar and pollen.
All parts of the angel trumpet (Brugmansia suaveolens), also known as brugmansia and angel-star, are narcotic and poisonous. Deaths have occurred when the plant has been ingested or smoked for its narcotic properties. Angel trumpet is banned completely in some areas. This shrubby plant grows from 6 to 15 feet tall. It produces oval -haped leaves that grow up to 10 inches long and six inches wide and fragrant trumpet-shaped, white, yellow or pink flowers that grow up to 12 inches long. Plant angel trumpet in full sun and a moist soil. The plant is hardy in south Florida and the Florida Keys.
With the exception of the fruit, all parts of the natal plum (Carissa macrocarpa), an evergreen shrub or small tree, are toxic. The plant grows to a height of 20 feet and produces dark-green oval leaves that grow to 1 to 3 inches long and branches that are covered in sharped, forked spines. The white, star-shaped flowers bloom all year long and grow to about 2 inches long with a fragrance like an orange blossom. The fruit appears on the tree along with new flowers, is 2 inches long and tastes like cranberries. Plant natal plum in full sun and a sandy, well-drained soil. The shrub is hardy in central and south Florida and the Florida Keys.
The evergreen shrub Peregrina (Jatropha integerrima), also known as jatropha, produces a milky sap that can cause skin irritation. All parts are poisonous if ingested. The shrub grows to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It produces leaves that start out as bronze and turn to green as they age. The 1-inch scarlet or vermillion flowers grow year round in clusters on the ends of the branches.
Plant peregrina in full sun to partial shade and in dry to moist, well drained, soil. The plant is a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds and is hardy in south Florida and the Florida Keys.