Plant in Garden

Asked August 14, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT

My daycare provider found this tall plant in her garden, and someone told her it was poison. She is concerned that the children she is in charge of will get into it. Can you please help.

Osceola County Michigan

3 Responses

How am I supposed to help?

I don't know what the plant looks like. I can't even give you a guess because all I know is that it is tall. But there are hundreds of plants that are poisonous and no one has problems. If the kids are running around the garden and eating whatever they want, that's a problem.
The choices:
1. pull up the plant
2. send a picture and see if I can identify it
But keep the kids out. There are dozens of poisonous plants around that neither of you are aware of. Teaching kids to not eat plants, fruit or berries is a good start or if that can't be done, exclude the kids.

I did send a picture of the plant leaf with the original email. Tall, as in 6 foot. It is lanky, not spread out. It gets White flowers on it. it is growing in a flower garden close to the sidewalk where the children enter the home, and while they are supervised, kids touch everything. The daycare provider was told by someone walking by that it was a dangerous plant, and that she shouldn't let the children be around it, because even just touching it would cause them harm. This is a volunteer plant she did not plant, but it is beautiful. I guess I can do my own research with the picture I have and see what I come up with. Thank you for your time.

The picture made all the difference. It is giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida. When it blooms, it can aggravate hay fever allergies. The young leaves collect nitrates from the soil and are considered poisonous.

This goes back to number 1 on my list... pull it out and get rid of it. It is a weed by almost everyone's standards. It is not going to have to be handled differently that other weeds. Just put it somewhere that kids, dogs or livestock won't eat it.