clematis, toxicity, and children

purpleivyMay 23, 2014

This is a rather panicked first post - I just bought a clematis (Etoile Violette) and have realised after the fact that it is supposedly poisonous if eaten or even touched. I'm surprised - it doesn't sound like most people develop rashes or worse by being in contact with it judging from the enthusiasm for the plant. My biggest concern is my toddler who still puts random things in her mouth. Should I not plant this as planned? Any thoughts would be welcome!

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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

I have more than 50 clematis and have never had any kind of a skin reaction to them even though many plants give me contact dermatitis. I prune my clematis and brush against them working in the garden. I wouldn't worry about skin contact unless you are planning on rolling naked in it.

From what I read, you would have to eat quite a bit of clematis to have an adverse reaction, and they taste bitter. It causes vomiting and digestive upsets. I wouldn't leave a toddler unattended in the garden regardless, but only you know how likely your daughter would be to be able to chew up and swallow enough to make her sick. I do have friends who have kids and clematis. Regardless, it would be good to start training her at this age that some things shouldn't be eaten without checking with you or another adult first.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 9:02AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Call Poison Control to ask your questions re toxicity -- 1-800-222-1222

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 12:48AM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Clematis are not poisonous if touched. IF they were, I'd be dead.....

I have 50 or so and touch them with bare skin all the time...

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 1:37PM
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purpleivy

Thanks for all the replies. I've gone ahead and planted it - can't find too many replacement climbers I like that aren't toxic. And yes, it seems you'd have to consume quite a bit for it to be dangerous.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 8:50PM
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dragonfly_field(8)

I was concerned about this very thing as this is my first year having clematis. My son doesn't put much in his mouth (except the sand he tried to eat a couple weeks ago O.o ) but my dog will lick anything off the ground and I was concerned for both of them being around the two clematis I bought. I ended up getting one of those decorative garden fences that are about 1ft high and placing it around them with a little extra room for leaves or petals that may fall off just keep them out of reach. Kids and pets do random things sometimes.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:19AM
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dragonfly_field(8)

I was concerned about this very thing as this is my first year having clematis. My son doesn't put much in his mouth (except the sand he tried to eat a couple weeks ago O.o ) but my dog will lick anything off the ground and I was concerned for both of them being around the two clematis I bought. I ended up getting one of those decorative garden fences that are about 1ft high and placing it around them with a little extra room for leaves or petals that may fall off just keep them out of reach. Kids and pets do random things sometimes.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 2:23AM
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