Monday, August 9th, 2010...12:00 am

Can You Eat Vegetables Grown Near Agapanthus?

Nerine bowdenii by Eric in SF

TheGardenLady received this question from Zanele.

Is it safe to eat vegetables grown near the roots of agapanthus? I have green beans growing close to agapanthus and am wondering if it is safe to eat them.

This is a very interesting question. All the websites do speak about the sap, bulb and the roots of agapanthus  as capable of causing stomach problems and skin dermatitis.  See here.

TheGardenLady did not think that there would be a problem but did not think she was enough of a poison specialist to say this without consulting an authority. So I phoned the US Poison Control number  which is 1-800- 222 -1222.

The person with  whom I spoke went on his data base. His first question was “what color is your agapanthus?” This was not mentioned in your email. The more toxic agapanthus is the pink agapanthus Nerine Bowdenii. The person I spoke to seemed to say that it was the bulb that was the really toxic part of Nerine Bowdenii.

He did not feel that the other agapanthus would cause more than stomach problems. And from his database,  he did not think any of the toxins from any agapanthus would enter into another plant. So he felt that your green beans were safe to eat.

I always err on the side of safety. I would wash and eat one. You will see that you are fine so then you can go ahead, wash the rest thoroughly, prepare them as you like and enjoy your harvest.

A list of the relative toxicity of all plants is here.

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