Non-toxic plants? #381606 - Ask Extension


Non-toxic plants? #381606

Asked January 10, 2017, 11:21 AM EST

Hi, I would like to decorate a cake with the following plants. They were purchased from an organic source, so no pesticides used, A few from my garden... a ginger leaf, the one unknown herb that I would like an I.D. on (pictured in the foreground with a sage coloring), a rosemary cutting, along with 2 types of begonia leaves, and freesia. If I wrap the stem ends, would it be safe to put on a cake? Thanks!

Anne Arundel County Maryland

Expert Response

According to the AMA handbook of poisonous plant and also the N.Y. Botanical Garden's handbook of poisonous plants:

Ginger (this looks like the groundcover ginger, Asarum  species) - no toxicity

Artemesia (your unknown plant) - no toxicity

Rosemary - this is a cooking herb and, of course, safe

Begonia - no toxicity

Freesia  is not in either handbook, but is listed as safe by the U. of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

Sorry to butt in, but those flowers look like Inca/Peruvian lily (Alstroemeria).
They are slightly toxic according to UC but should be safe to use if the stems are wrapped.
Robert Blakey Replied January 11, 2017, 3:40 PM EST

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