Succulent Toxicity

Hybrid Aloes

Aloe-Aloe Horticulture:

“Whilst most aloe leaves can be used on the skin to alleviate burns and are frequently cited as being useful in herbal medicine, the benefits of aloe sap are not all accepted by the medical industry.

Many scientific studies have been undertaken on the species Aloe Vera or Aloe Barbadensis but the apparent benefits are inconclusive and many of them are conflicting.

All cultivars in the Aloe-Aloe collection (not Aloe Vera) are bred for spectacular flowering in the garden and are definitely not sold nor grown for medicinal use.

We accept no responsibility for the consequence of cosmetic or medical use. In fact we go further with a word of caution as there are a few aloe species, which contain sap in the outer green layer of the leaf, which could even be classified, as poisonous if eaten.

Despite this risk all of the Aloe-Aloe’s are safe to work with and grow in the garden as ornamental garden plants”



The University of California has a toxicity rating for Agave that includes minor toxicity, oxalates and dermatitis.

Minor toxicity is described as vomiting or diarrhea.

Oxalates refers to the sap of the plant containing oxalate crystals. Oxalates can be the cause of skin, mouth, tongue and throat irritation and in a worst case scenario can cause swelling of the throat and breathing difficulties as well as burning pain and stomach upset.

The sap of Agave can also cause skin rash or irritation.

The potential issues that could arise from the ingestion of Agave plant material apply to both humans and animals.



The sap of Madagascar Palm’s contain toxic cardiac glycosides that are poisonous to both humans and animals.

Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, irregular heartbeat and lack of appetite but can be more serious if enough is ingested.

Although we do not put this forward as a reason not to take care with these plants, we have personally dealt with Pachypodium’s for years without issue and would suggest you need to get past the spikes first before sap becomes a problem!

That said, if you live in an area where your Pachy will be deciduous in winter then take care if you start pulling off dying leaves as the sap is likely to exit the nodes.

nb. close relative of Pachypodium’s, Adenium Obesum (Desert Rose) also contain glycosides in their sap.



Safe for both people and humans although advisable not to consume.



All Senecio varieties (and there are many) should be considered toxic to both humans and animals.

They contain PA (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) that primarily affects the liver.

Toxicity varies between varieties.

Primarily toxicity worldwide has been reported with the varieties that grow as weeds and therefore reported cases mostly affect livestock. Specific cases of toxicity to an ornamental succulent variety of Senecio are hard to find but even so, we suggest a ‘better safe than sorry approach’ given their PA content.

For instance, the shape of Senecio trailing forms such as ‘String of Pearls’ may make them be tempting for young children to try to eat. We suggest that they are grown out of reach of children and if grown in hanging baskets they are kept trimmed to ensure children can’t get to them.



Generally considered non-toxic to pets and humans



The milky white sap of Euphorbias is toxic and care should be taken with these plants.

Children’s Health Queensland make particular note of E.Tirucalli and E.Lactea, but all varieties need to be handled with care.

Avoid skin and eye contact with the sap.

Always wear gloves and eye protection when working with these plants.



Considered mildly toxic to humans, ingesting the plant may cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

More severe toxicity exists with animals - dogs, cats and horses.



Although some sources suggest there is no problems for humans, Kalanchoes do contain cardiac glycosides and are definitely toxic to animals, therefore we would suggest you err on the side of caution and treat them as toxic to humans.

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