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Dangerous Plants and Trees in Arizona

One of the enjoyable aspects of living in the desert is the beauty of the desert landscape, one that includes many varieties of plants, most that are natural to Arizona, but also including others that are not, transplanted here from other states and even other countries. All them add to our desert views around us and in our own yards. But many of these plants (and including some trees) can be toxic to our Cavaliers.


When planting in our yards or when out and about on hikes or at local parks, visiting friends, neighbors, and family, it's important you be armed with knowledge of which plants are dangerous and toxic, so you will recognize them when you see them, and then keep your Cavalier from any unfortunate run-ins.


Below are not all, but the top twelve, most common to be aware of: 

poisonous plants in Arizona

Figure 1

OLEANDER: All Parts - Lethal

SAGO PALM: The Seed - can be Lethal

AZEALA: All Parts - can be Lethal

DAFFODIL: The Bulb - very Toxic

CASTOR BEAN PLANT: The Beans - can be Lethal

LANTANA: The Plant - Toxic

CYCLAMEN: The Plant - can be Lethal

JIMSON WEED: All Parts - can be Lethal

CHINABERRY PLANT: All Parts - Lethal

MARIGOLD: The Plant - mildly Toxic


DIEFFENBACHIA: The Plant - Toxic


The most obvious problem with cactus is its spines. It is highly recommended that if your Cavalier has a run-in with a cactus, even if you don't see visible evidence of spines, take them to the vet. Some cactus have very fine spines, and small or large, both can also be accidently ingested. At least mild sedation is often necessary in order to successfully remove spines as painlessly as possible.

Succulents are considered safe, although some can cause mild upset.

cute drawing of a baby succulent

Figure 2

cute drawings of baby cactus

Figure 3

If you have some of these plants in your yard it doesn't mean you have to rip them all out. You can limit the areas your Cavalier has access to. You can also use raised bed gardens and garden fencing. You can delegate portions of your property for planting these types of plants, ie: only in the front yard if your Cavalier's area is in the back yard, or vice versa. 

There are also several plants that are completely safe as well as attractive, such as the ones in the following list:

  • African Violets

  • Boston Fern

  • Christmas Cactus

  • Hoya

  • Orchids

  • Roses

  • Spider Plant

drawing of an african violet

Hopefully this guide will help you safely enjoy our beautiful Arizona landscape to its fullest while out and about with your Cavalier!

clipart of a girl walking her cavalier king charles spaniel created by Angela Schuller of Cavaliers of Fairhaven
signature scribble


Author: Angela Schuller

Disclaimer: As a breeder who cares deeply for my dogs and puppies I act as responsibly as I can.  The information provided is intended to inform and help to lessen the alarm when toxic plants is a topic with your veterinarian. Ultimately, once a puppy leaves my home relinquished to an owner's care, owners must then take on the responsibility for their decisions. As always, if your pet has an urgent medical concern, please consult your veterinarian. Finally, as your trusted breeder, I am always available to offer support and answer questions. 


A-Z Animals Website;

"Figure 1”jpg, general image search further digitally manipulated by Angela Schuller

"Figure 2”jpg,  TinyBee Website,

"Figure 3”jpg,  Vector Stock Website,, Accessed 1 August 2023 Cavalier

African violet art, general image search further manipulated by Angela Schuller

Dog Walker Art by Angela Schuller

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