Are leaves of English Ivy poisonous?

Francis A Williamson cfaw at
Sat Nov 26 23:57:59 EST 1994

In article <CzLrCx.Eyy at>
           myra at "Myra Bronstein" writes:

> Newsgroups: bionet.plants
> Path:!demon!!!
> pipex!uunet!!purdue!!!nntpa!not-for-mail
> From: myra at (Myra Bronstein)
> Subject: Are leaves of English Ivy poisonous?
> Message-ID: <CzLrCx.Eyy at>
> Sender: news at (Netnews Administration)
> Nntp-Posting-Host:
> Organization: AT&T
> Date: Mon, 21 Nov 1994 05:31:45 GMT
> Lines: 7
> Does anyone know if the *leaves* of English Ivy
> (Hedera Helix) are toxic (i.e., unsafe around pets).
> I know the berries are.
> Thanks in advance.
> Myra 
Here are some quotations from "British Poisonous Plants" by A.A Forsyth
Bulletin No. 161. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, HMSO, 
London, 1968 pp.67-68
"From the earliest times the berries of ivy have been considered to
 be poisonous. Children have been the chief victims, and a case has
 been reported of human poisoning by the leaves.  It is not considered
 to be harmful to livestock in small quantities, and a young branch 
 is often offered as a tonic to sickly cattle, sheep and goats.  The
 author saw two Jersey cows ill as the result of eating large quantities
 of the leaves and apparently the berries..... Recovery was complete
 and uneventful."
Francis A Williamson
Lesmurdie House
Lower Cabrach
Huntly AB54 4EU
Scotland, UK

Tel/Fax +(44) 466 702236
email: cfaw at

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