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Are Morning Glories Poisonous?

The Bottom Line

The seeds of morning glory contain a chemical similar to LSD. Eating enough of them can cause many types of symptoms, from diarrhea to hallucinations requiring medical care.

The Full Story

Morning glories are in season, blooming early in the day and in the evening. The cultivated morning glory is a fast-growing vine with white, blue, or purple flowers. Birds, bees, and butterflies love them.

Children are also attracted to the showy flowers. Fortunately, eating morning glory flowers is not dangerous, unless the child chokes. BUT the seeds can be poisonous, especially in large quantities. They contain a chemical similar to LSD. Symptoms can range widely, from diarrhea to hallucinations. Prevent poisoning by keeping seed packets out of children's reach.

Rose Ann Gould Soloway, RN, BSN, MSEd, DABAT emerita
Clinical Toxicologist


For More Information

Poisonous and Non-Poisonous Plants: An Illustrated List


References

Richardson WH, Slone CM, Michels JE. Herbal drugs of abuse: an emerging problem. Emerg Med Clin N Am. 2007;25:435–457.Ipoe

Poisoned?

CALL 1-800-222-1222

Prevention Tips

Store packets of morning glory seeds out of sight and reach of children.

This Really Happened

A 13-year-old girl swallowed several packets of morning glory seeds in an effort to get high. Four hours later she was noted by her mom to be acting strangely and she complained that her arms felt heavy. Her mom brought her to the emergency room. The emergency physician consulted Poison Control. The child was having some muscle rigidity. Poison Control recommended a sedating medication for that as well as observation until she was back to normal. Activated charcoal (specially treated charcoal that helps absorb drugs or toxins) was recommended and given. Eight hours after she ingested the morning glory seeds her heart rate was slightly elevated but she was awake and alert. An hour later, she was able to go home. In a follow-up call from Poison Control the next day, her mom reported that the child was nauseated and dizzy but otherwise well. The next day, Poison Control checked back on the child again and she was doing better.