Kids with Daffodils: Are Daffodils Poisonous?

They each wanted each others daffodil.

I was so scared I was going to drop her.

Thank you, Stacy, for sending us some more photos from this weekend.  I really need to invest in a new lens for my camera.  Mine is so 2009.

The main question many of you are wondering, with the daffodil so close to Cece’s mouth, is “Are Daffodils Poisonous?”

Let me be clear, children, adults, and animals should not eat daffodils.  Daffodils (Narcissus) are considered slightly poisonous.  They will mainly cause an upset stomach and possible vomiting if ingested.   They might not be as lethal as an Oleander, but do not let children eat the flower or any part of the bulb.  The following is from A Modern Herbal, first published in 1931, by Mrs. M. Grieve and is an excerpt from where you can read much more about the medicinal aspects of the bulb:

“The bulbs of the Daffodil, as well as every other part of the plant are powerfully emetic, and the flowers are considered slightly poisonous, and have been known to have produced dangerous effects upon children who have swallowed portions of them.”

and this is from the Wikipedia post on daffodils:

All Narcissus varieties contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, mostly in the bulb but also in the leaves.[7][8]

On 1 May 2009 a number of school children fell ill at Gorseland Primary School in Martlesham Heath, Suffolk, England after adding a daffodil bulb to soup during a cookery class. The bulbs could often be confused with onions, thereby leading to incidents of accidental poisoning.[8]

One of the most common dermatitis problems for florists, “daffodil itch” involves dryness, fissures, scaling, and erythema in the hands, often accompanied by subungual hyperkeratosis (thickening of the skin beneath the nails). It is blamed on exposure to calcium oxalate in the sap.[9][10] It has long been recognised that some cultivars provoke dermatitis more readily than others. The cultivars ‘Actaea’, ‘Camparelle’, ‘Gloriosa’, ‘Grande Monarque’, ‘Ornatus’, ‘Princeps’ and ‘Scilly White’ are particularly troublesome.[11]

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Bulb Hunter

This post was written by who has written 248 posts on Bulb Hunter Blog.

Chris Wiesinger, the Bulb Hunter, founded The Southern Bulb Company to share his finds with the world. Read more about Chris, or bring Chris in to speak at your next event.

3 Responses to “Kids with Daffodils: Are Daffodils Poisonous?”

  1. Stacy March 2, 11 at 9:01 PM #

    Thanks for having us, y’all! As always it was a blast. 🙂

  2. Brad Weaver March 19, 12 at 7:26 PM #

    read your article on : Are Daffodils Poisonous

    I am considering planting vegetable plants in several of my raised beds with daffodils (after they have died back). If daffodil bulbs are considered somewhat poisonous, is there any chance that the poison might permeate thru the soil and find itself in the vegetables? just wondering.
    Brad weaver

  3. Bulb Hunter March 19, 12 at 9:02 PM #

    Hi, Brad! It is wonderful to hear from you. Hope you pumpkin patch ( continues to do well and that your daffodils continue to multiply. No chance of daffodils juices permeating the soil so you should be just fine. However, make sure you don’t mistakenly eat the leaves thinking they were chives, garlic, etc. Enjoy and think about North Georgia often.

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