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Beware of poisonous plants in the garden with spring underway

Daffodils, agapanthas roots and the arum lily are common to many Kiwi gardens and pretty perennials, but they also have a deadly side, according to the manager of Wellington’s Botanic Gardens.

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There are a few that can do a surprising amount of damage.

David Sole told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp the plants common to New Zealand gardens can also have a precarious side.

The arum lily forms clusters of red berries that can be attractive to kids, but are also a poison.

“Another one that is probably a surprise to a lot of people is the humble daffodil,” he says.

The flowers as well as the bulb are so noxious that “they will kill you”, Sole says.

The same goes for the common rhododendron.

"They are really poisonous," he says.

And the old agapanthus – a common sight in Kiwi gardens - have roots that are noxious.

Adding to these is the yew tree and the native karaka, the latter which is toxic to dogs.

“Keep your dog on a lead because they’ll gobble them up, dogs are killed every year."

Meanwhile the pretty foxglove, which has poisonous leaves, is also the country’s leading heart treatment.

But, Sole says it’s way more important to “get outside and enjoy the plants” than worrying about “what’s going to bite me and what’s not going to bite me”.

“We need to be careful about overstating it. Our lives depend on plants, we couldn’t exist without plants."