The Poisonous Garden

Well, the moonflower vines are finally blooming and the blossoms are gorgeous!

I got tired of looking at the wood privacy fence that’s been there for 14 years, so I painted the section behind the twig obelisk and moonflowers a pale green with exterior paint. I chose this color to accent the natural world and brighten up a dark shady corner. Also, I named this small space “The Poisonous Garden” because I’ve always been fascinated with the medical properties of plants. The plants below are beautiful but deadly!

So, in this Poisonous Garden grows foxglove (aka digitalis), moonflower, heavenly blue morning glory. In the fall, I’ll a few plant hellebores (aka lenten rose) to provide color during the winter months.


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heavenly blue morning glory
moonflower picture taken @ 8:30pm ET
photo was taken @ 8:30pm ET

In terms of toxicity, both moonflower and morning glory seeds are poisonous. Morning glory seeds are one of two seed types (the other is rye seed) used to make LSD, a hallucinogenic drug, through a complex chemical process. Morning glories bloom in the morning and moonflowers are nocturnals bloomers so they bloom after the sun sets…both are gorgeous in their purity of color. Plant the seeds around where you relax and entertain in the evening…moonflower blossoms spans up to 6 inches, have an enticing fragrance, and brighten up the night!


Foxglove: One of my all-time favorite flowers! All parts of the plant are extremely poisonous. The botanical name is digitalis purpura and is used to make the heart medication digoxin. When manufactured into medication, digitalis is valuable in treating heart failure.

foxglove aka digitalis



Hellebores (aka lenten rose +): I love hellebores! Planting them in shady borders is a

fragrant hellebore

good way to use these plants. I have the ‘fragrant hellebores’, but there are many other colors ranging from pure white to black. They produce flowers early in spring and have evergreen foliage, so hellebore adds color and texture year round. Here in Atlanta, they bloom in January into the spring. It’s the roots of all Helleborus that are poisonous, and if ingested causes severe vomiting and diarrhea and can be fatal. Prolonged skin contact may also cause burning. 



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Plant a few foxglove and hellebores in your space…in the ground or containers and watch them rise into beautiful, majestic wonders. As for moonflowers, plant them around where you relax in the evening and watch them come alive!



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