I’ve had a plant growing in my yard for several years. It’s a drought-tolerant plant I bought at the garden store. It’s done very well for itself, sprouting children all over the place. I didn’t mind – it was kind of pretty and I’m always happy to have a plant that thrives under neglect.
Yesterday I found out the entire plant is poisonous. I knew it had a rather nasty-looking milky sap that poured out if any part was pruned. I guess I never got any of it on me or I would have learned at that point that the sap burns and blisters skin. Stupid and lucky, that’s me.
We just paid a lot of money to have a new landscape plan drawn up and the work started. We’re putting in a native garden and I thought it would be all right to keep some (most) of my native and drought-tolerant plants in my little gardening area. The architect mentioned this plant was like a weed and would propagate out of control if I kept it. The gardener who dug up our yard mentioned that it wasn’t a good idea to prune the plant because the sap was caustic. But he didn’t dig anything up in that part of the yard because we wanted to keep as many plants as possible. To save money on new plants, you see.
I just don’t remember either person specifically telling me the plant was poisonous. I know for a fact the garden store where I bought it didn’t have any warnings posted about it. Why are they even selling a poisonous plant? I’m a little miffed.
So yesterday I decided that there were just too many of the little plant babies and I set to work to cull some of them. They are very healthy plants. Lots of sap pouring out. In fact, it was so much that I got a little nervous. And decided, after all this time, to do a little research, whereupon I made that disquieting discovery.
Doesn’t it just figure, that the healthiest, most prolific plant in my garden is poisonous? I’m telling you, I’m dangerous out there!
Anyway, they’re all going away. I spent an hour or two this morning digging up all that would fit into our yard waste bin. I will try to finish up Sunday or Monday. The original plant is quite large and I’m saving it for last since I know it’s got the most sap. When we resume work on the new yard plan in the fall, I’m going to have the gardener dig up that whole section and put in the plants the architect suggested.
Milder, kinder plants.