An invasive species is any species that is both non-native to an area and causes harm to the environment, the economy or human health.
In some cases, the threat that an invasive species poses is its toxicity. This is a list of some of the invasive species commonly found in the Sea to Sky Corridor that are toxic to humans and animals. Click on any of the species’ names to learn more!
- Giant Hogweed – Contains a sap that causes extreme light sensitivity and subsequently burns, and can cause blindness if in contact with the eye.
- Common Foxglove – Highly toxic to humans and animals; can cause serious illness or death if ingested.
- Yellow Flag Iris – Toxic if ingested by humans and animals, can cause skin irritation if touched.
- Spurge Laurel – All parts of the plant are highly toxic and can cause serious illness or death if ingested.
- Common Burdock – Burrs may cause skin irritation.
- Hoary Alyssum – Can be toxic to horses when consumed in large quantities, and lead to illness or death.
- Blueweed – Can be toxic to horses and cattle when ingested.
- Yellow & Dalmation Toadflax – Contain compounds that are toxic to livestock.
- Common (Small) Periwinkle – Toxic to humans and animals when consumed.
- Common Tansy – Leaves and flowers can be toxic to humans and animals if consumed in large amounts.
- Tansy Ragwort – All plant parts are toxic when eaten in large amounts.
- Broad-Leaved Peavine – Fruits and leaves can cause lathyrism when eaten in large amounts.
- Flat Pea – Fruits and leaves can cause lathyrism when eaten in large amounts.
- Cherry Laurel – Berries, leaves, and bark are toxic to humans if ingested.
- Common Bugloss – Toxic if ingested by animals or humans.
- English Ivy – Fruits and leaves are toxic to humans and animals if ingested.
- Lamb’s Quarters – Can cause serious illness and death if ingested in large quantities by humans or animals.
Symptoms of Poisoning
In children and adults, symptoms of poisoning include but are not limited to:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Blurred vision
If you suspect poisoning, seek immediate medical help. DO NOT induce vomiting unless instructed to do so by poison control or a medical professional.
In pets and livestock,
- Poisonings are often undiagnosed due to generalized symptoms
- Symptoms may include decreased appetite, weight, or generally unhealthy appearance
- Contact your vet if your animals are experiencing unusual symptoms
Livestock rarely directly consume toxic plants unless available forage is low. When speaking to your vet, remember to inform them 0f any recent changes, such as sparse forage due to heavy grazing, drought or poor early season growth, recently moving livestock to a new pasture, or feeding livestock hay from a new source.