Are Daffodils Poisonous? – Yes, here’s the lowdown

It turns out daffodils are one of the many plants that contain toxic compounds that make them nice and deer-proof additions to your garden. There are about 20 different toxic alkaloids that have been identified in daffodils, the most common being lycorine. Lycorine causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. All of these symptoms are generally good in that your body is trying to get out the toxin as quick as possible so that it doesn’t cause the bigger problems that could cause death, including kidney failure and heart issues. The following video summarizes what we know about daffodil toxins.

If my dog eats daffodils what do I do?

Pet’s can and do sometimes eat daffodils. That’s why knowing what to do if this happens is so important. If one of your pets happens to eat a daffodil, you need to get them to the emergency room as quick as possible. Most likely the vet will induce vomiting and try and get them to get rid of the plant material they ingested.

Can humans die from eating daffodils?

Humans can in theory die from eating daffodils. However, in the research for this video, I couldn’t find any good reports that indicate that anyone in recent times has actually died from eating them. I did however, run across a few reports of people that accidentally mistook the daffodil bulbs (where most of the toxin is), for onions. These bulbs sometimes made it into a stew or other meal that sent everyone to the hospital.

The fact that there are no recent reports of deaths by daffodils is the only reason I felt comfortable enough to try eating these daffodil flowers. Of note, I almost never swallow these plants when I’m tasting them. There are a few plants that this method is not safe at all, including death camas and poison hemlock.

I hope this encourages you to take a closer look at the amazing daffodils. This genus Narcissus contains ~ 160 species and thousands of cultivars. That’s many lifetimes worth of learning just with these plants.

What is the “gardening ethic” that I’m teaching here?

As a quick side note I wanted to discuss a bit about why I make videos about plants. I discuss why I make videos about these daffodils, edible weeds, wisteria, pokeweed, and more. Furthermore, I discuss what kind of subtle ethic I’m using in the videos?

Want to learn more? A Behind the Scenes discussion

About The Author
Rob Nelson

Rob Nelson

Rob has worked as a biologist and wildlife educator since 2001 with the goal of reconnecting people with nature. While in grad school in Hawaii he studied ecology and as a side job he spent years working part time leading nature tours – teaching about the wildlife, the land, and the natural history that made the islands so unique. These were the first sparks that would lead to what is now StoneAgeMan.