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There are many toxic and poisonous plants in Utah and surrounding states. I have seen and Identified many of them. I can show them to you as we are out walking if you come to one of my walks. The first thing I want to state is that once you learn a plant and you are able to clearly identify it you will not confuse it with a poisonous plant. You will not have to worry about being poisoned when eating wild foods as long as you follow the number one rule: Never eat anything you cannot identify 100%.

What I would like to do with this page is update with some of the photos and details of plants I am aware of but first let's talk about the difference between toxic and poisonous and help clarify some details. Generally speaking when related to the plant world the word toxic is used to refer to a plant that can cause a mild reaction while poison refers to something that can easily kill you. If you research the difference between these words as far as definition goes you will find that they are basically the same thing.

With this being understood, realize that often times when a plant is referred to as toxic it can have medicinal properties that can be useful when used properly. I also want you to realize that many of the plants you currently eat have toxic parts.

These include

  • Potatoes -Leaves are poisonous/toxic.
  • Apples -Seeds contain cyanide.
  • Rhubarb -Leaves are poisonous while stems are edible.
  • Carrots -Seeds eaten in quantity have toxic elements.
  • There are also many plants we eat that have family members that are poisonous. The tomato for example has a scientific name that I have heard means "the edible one" because it is part of the nightshade family but it is the one edible plant in that family.

Here are some of the poisonous plants I am aware of in our area:
 
  • Baneberry
  • Prickly poppy
  • Poison hemlock
  • Water hemlock
  • Sacred datura
  • Twinberry
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more to come.
 
Just learn all you can and you will enjoy eating wild things.