Common Bird-safe and Toxic Plants

This is a compilation of lists from multiple, reputable sources that can be found listed below. If you have any doubts about the safety of a plant, including the ones listed, please consult your Certified Avian Vet. 

Depending on your region, plant names may vary. Consult a nursery to identify plant species you are unsure of. Any plant eaten in excess is likely to cause health problems, especially regarding smaller birds. Beware of any mold growth, pesticides, and toxic fertilizers that may have been used on you plants.

"Spp." is the abbreviation for "species."

Non-toxic Plants

Abelia – Abelia spp.
Acacia – Acacia spp. (some species)
African Daisy – Arctotis stoechadifolia

African Violet – Saintpaulina spp.
Aluminum Plant – Pilea cadierei
Aloe – Aloe spp. (fresh only)

Aralia – Aralia spp.
Arbutus – Arbutus spp.
Areca, Butterfly Cane – Areca lutescens
Ash – Fraxinus spp.
Asparagus Fern – Asparagus densiflorus
Aspen – Populus spp.
Aspidistra – Aspidistra spp.
Baby’s Tears – Helxine soleirolli
Baby’s Breath – Gypsophila paniculata
Bachelor Buttons – Centaurea cyanus
Barberry – Berberis spp.
Beech – Fagus, Nothofagus
Begonia – Begonia spp.
Birch – Betula spp.
Bird’s Nest Fern – Asplenium nidus
Blood Leaf Plant – Iresine herbstii and related spp.
Boston Fern – Nephrolepsis bostoniensis
Bougainvillea – Bougainvillea spp. (non-toxic but beware of thorns)
Brake, Ribbon, Dish – Pteris cretica
Bromeliads – Anans comosus
California Holly – Heteromeles arbutifolia
Calamint – Calamintha spp.
Calendula (Pot Marigold) – Calendula officinalis
Camellia – Camellia spp.
Chamomile – Chamaemelum nobile
Chickweed – Cerastium vulgatum, Stellaria media
Chicory – Chichorium intybus
Cissus Kangaroo Vines – Cissus spp.
Claw Cactus – Schlumbergera truncata
Coffee Tree – Coffea arabica (coffee is toxic)

Coleus – Coleus blumei
Comfrey – Symphytum officinalis
Corn Plant – Dracaena fragrans
Cottonwood – Populus spp.
Crabapple – Malus spp. (fruit only)

Creeping Jenny – Lysimachia spp.
Croton – Codiaeum variegatum  (house variety)
Dahlia – Dahlia spp.
Dandelion – Taraxacum officinalis
Date – Phoenix dactylifera
Daylily – Hemerocallis spp.
Dill – Anethum graveolen
Dogwood – Cornus spp.
Donkey Tail – Sedum morganianum
Dracaena – Dracaena spp.
Dragon Tree – Dracaena draco
Easter Cactus – Rhipsalidopsis spp.
Elderberry – Sambucus spp. (cooked ripe fruit only)

Elm – Ulmus spp.
European Fan – Chamaerops humilis
Fir – Abies spp.
Gold Dust Dracaena – Dracaena godseffiana
Echeveria – Echeveria spp.
Elephant Foot Tree – Beaucarnea recurvata
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus sp.
Eugenia – Eugenia spp.
Gardenia – Gardenia jasminoides

Gloxinia – Sinningia speciosa
Grape Ivy – Cissus rhombifolia
Grape Vine – Vitis spp.
Hens and Chicks – Echeveria and Sempervivum sp.
Hibiscus – Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (and related species)

Honeysuckle – Lonicera spp.
Hoya – Hoya spp.
Impatiens – Impatiens spp.
Indian Hawthorne – Rhaphiolepsis spp.
Kalanchoe – Klanchoe blossfeldiana
Larch – Larix spp.
Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis
Lilac – Syringa vulgaris and related species

Lilly (Easter or Tiger) – Lilium spp.
Magnolia – Magnolia spp.

Maidenhair Fern – Adiantum spp.
Manzanita – Arctostapylos manzanita
Mayapple – Podophyllum peltatum (fruit only)

Monkey Plant – Ruellia spp.
Moses-in-the-Cradle – Rhoeo spathacea
Moth Orchid – Phalaenopsis orchid
Nandina – Nandina domestica

Nasturtium – Tropaeolum majus
Natal Plum – Carissa macrocarpa
Nerve Plant – Fittonia verschaffeltti
Norfolk Island Pine – Araucaria excelsa
Orchids Brazilian, Fly, Christmas, Cocktail,

Dancing Doll, Easter,
Fiery Reed, Tiger,
Ghost Leafless,
Golden Lace,
Golden Shower,
Jewel, Lace, Leopard,
Old World, Pansy,
Rainbow, Scarlet,
Spice, Tailed
Parsley – Petroselinum spp.
Passionflower – Passiflora caerulea
Peppermint – Mentha x piperita

Peperomia – Peperomia spp.
Petunia – Petunia spp.
Pony Tail Palm – Beaucarnea recurvata

Popular – Populus spp.
Prayer Plant – Maranta leuconeura

Purple Passion, Purple Velvet – Gynura aurantiaca
Pyracantha – Pyracantha spp.

Raphiolepsis – Raphiolepis spp.
Rose – Rosa spp. (Non-toxic but beware of thorns)
Rubber Plant – Ficus elastica

Russian Olive – Elaeagnus augustifolia
Schefflera – Schefflera actinophylla
Sensitive Plant – Mimosa pudica

Spearmint – Mentha spicata
Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum
Spruce – Picea spp.
Squirrel’s Foot Fern – Davallia trichomanoides

Staghorn, Elk’s Horn – Platycerium bifurcatum
Star Jasmine – Trachelospermum jasminoides
String of Beads – Senecio rowleyanus
Swedish Ivy – Plectranthus australis

Sword Fern – Nephrolepis exaltata
Thistle – Cirsium spp.
Ti Plant – Cordyline terminalis

Violet – Viola spp.
Wandering Jew – Tradescantia fluminensis

Willow – Salix spp.
Zebra Plant – Aphelandra squarrosa

Toxic Plants

Acokanthera – Acokanthera spp. (all parts toxic, except ripe fruit)
Amaryllis – Amaryllis spp.
Angel’s Trumpet – Datura spp.
Apricot – Prunus armeniaca (pits, leave, and bark)
Apple – Malus spp., (seeds, leaves, bark)
Avocado – Persea Americana 
Azalea – Rhododendron canadenis
Balsam Pear, Bitter Melon – Momordica charantia
Baneberry – Actaea rubra, A. pachypoda
Belladonna – Atropa belladonna
Bird of Paradise – Poinciana and related spp.
Bittersweet – Celastrus spp.
Black Locust – Robinia pseudoacacia
Boxwood – Boxus spp.
Braken Fern – Pteridium aquilinum
Buckthorn – Karwinskia humboldtiana and related spp.
Burdock – Arctium spp.
Buttercup – Ranunculus spp.
Caladium – Caladium spp.
Calla Lily – Zantedeschia aethiopica
Catclaw Acacia – Acacia greggii (twigs and leaves)
Caster Bean – Ricinus communis
Cherry – Prunus spp. (pits, leaves and bark)
Chinaberry – Melia azadarach
Clematis – Clematis montana and related spp.
Coral Plant – Jatropha mutifida
Crocus (autumn) – Cholochicum autumnale
Cycad or Sago Cycas – Cycas revoluta
Daffodil – Narcissus tazetta
Daphne – Daphne mezerum
Death Camas – Zigadenus venenosus and other related species
Delphinium – Delphinium spp.
Devil’s Ivy – Epipremnum aureum
Dieffenbachia (dumb cane) – Dieffenbachia spp.
Eggplant – Solonum melongena (unripe/ripe fruit, leaves)
Elderberry – Sambucus mexicana (roots, leaves, stems, bark)
Elephant’s Ears or Taro – Colocasia spp.
Euonymus – Euonymus spp.
European Pennyroyal – Mentha pulegium
Figs – Ficus spp. (sap)
Four o’clock – Mirabilis jalapa
Heliotrope – Heliotropium spp.
Henbane – Hyoscyamus niger
Holly – Ilex aquifolium and related spp. (leaves, berries)
Horse Chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum and related spp.
Horse Nettle – Solanum carolinense
Hyacinth – Hyacinthus orientalis
Hydrangea – Hydrangea spp.
Iris – Iris spp.
Ivy – Hedera spp. (Boston, English and some others)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit – Arisaema spp.
Jerusalem Cherry – Solanum pseudocapsicum and related spp. (leaves, seeds and flowers)

Jonquil – Narcissus jonquilla
Juniper – Juniperus spp.
Lantana – Lantana camara
Larkspur – Delphinium spp.
Laurel – Kalmia spp.
Lily-of-the-Valley – Convalleria majalis

Lobelia – Lobelia spp.
Locoweed – Astragalus spp. and Oxytopis spp.
Lupine – Lupinus spp.

Marijuana – Cannabis sativa
Milkweed – Asclepias spp.
Mistletoe – Phoradendron villosum

Mock Orange – Philadelphus spp.
Moonseed – Menispermum canadense
Monkshood – Aconitum spp.
Morning Glory – Ipomoea violacea (seeds)

Mushrooms – Amanita spp. And many others
Narcissus – Narcissus spp.
Oak – Quercus spp.
Oleander – Nerium oleander
Peach – Prunus persica (leaves, pit, bark)

Pear – Pyrus spp. (leaves, seeds, bark)
Peony – Paeonia officinalis
Periwinkle – Vinca minor, Vinca rosea
Peyote – Lophophora williamsii
Philodendron – Philodendron spp. and Monstera spp.
Plum – Prunus spp. (leaves, pit, bark)

Poison Hemlock – Conium maculatum
Poison Ivy – Toxicodendron radicans, includes T. rydbergii
Poison Oak – Toxicodendron querciflium and T. diversilobum
Poison Sumac – Rhux vernix
Poinsettia – Euphorbia pulcherrima
Poppy – Papaver somniferum and related spp.

Pokeweed – Phytolacca Americana
Potato – Solanum tuberosum (sprouts, leaves, berries, green tubers)

Pothos – Eprimemnum aureum
Primrose – Prmula spp.
Privet – Ligustrum vulgare
Ragwort – Senecio jacobea and related spp.

Red Maple – Acer rubrum
Rhododendron – Rhododendron spp.
Rhubarb – Rheum rhabarbarum (leaves)

Rosary Pea – Abrus precatorius
Sage – Salvia officinalis
Shamrock Plant – Medicago lupulina, Trifolium repens, Oxalis acetosella
Skunk Cabbage – Symplocarpus foetidus
Snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis
Sorrel – Rumex spp., Oxalis spp.
Spurges – Euphorbia spp.
Star of Bethlehem – Ornithogalum umbellatum

Sweet Pea – Lathyrus odoratus
Tobacco – Nicotiania spp.
Tomato – Lycopersicon esculentum (stems and leaves)

Tulip – Tulipa spp.
Virginia Creeper – Panthenocissus quinquefolia
Vetches – Vicia spp.
Water Hemlock – Cicuta spp.
Waxberry – Symphoricarpos albus
Wisteria – Wisteria spp.
Yew – Taxus spp

 Download the 8½" x 11" Common Bird-safe House Plants Flyer: PDF | JPG

References:
beautyofbirds.com/toxicfoods.html
animalplanet.com/pets/other-pets/plants/
plannedparrothood.com/plants.html
multiscope.com/hotspot/articles/safeplants.htm
vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/plants-safe-for-birds
brookfallsveterinary.com/pet-library/bird-articles/safe-plants-for-birds/


1 comment

  • Most houseplant orchids are sold by their botanical name only; and about 75% or more I would reckon are just called Phalaenopsis – or “Moth Orchids” or “Butterfly Orchids” – and I believe the Cymbidiums are entirely safe too.

    Lots of birds enjoy snacking on Phalaenopsis blooms – and one of my crows loved picking the blooms off and arranging them in a row sigh! :D ~~ Small Wild Bird Clinic of Aberdeen / Hilary R

    Hilary R

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