Is Alyssum Poisonous To Humans? What about Cats, Dogs, or Horses?

Imagine suddenly falling ill after buying a new plant. It can happen if the plant is poisonous or if you have an allergy to it. So, if you are looking to buy alyssum, it’s realistic to ask, is alyssum poisonous to humans and Pets like dogs or cats?

Alyssum is not poisonous to humans, cats, and dogs. Though one of its variants Hoary Alyssum is poisonous to horses.

Read on to find out which animal alyssum is poisonous to. 

Is Alyssum Poisonous to Humans?

The common alyssum plant is not toxic to humans. It’s quite the opposite. Many people have become aware of the edibility of the alyssum plant parts. In fact, the alyssum flowers, young leaves, and stems are a great addition to salads or your meat marinades.  

This may come as a shock to many who may have heard stories about the plant being poisonous. The truth is not many people are willing to test out old myths and we wouldn’t advise you to. 

But, the good news is several health professionals and even the ASPCA have debunked the false allegations that alyssum is toxic to dogs and cats. 

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Is Alyssum Poisonous to Cats?

Have you ever seen a cat start to eat the tops of grass? They do this to help them vomit when they are sick. However, housecats can nibble on houseplants as well as outdoor plants. Meaning that your indoor or outdoor alyssum could compromise your cat!

Alyssum is not poisonous to cats. Besides, even if your cat decides to bite into your alyssum, they won’t consume a lot and it will be coming out soon enough when they vomit! 

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Is Alyssum Poisonous to Dogs?

Households that house several dogs may feel more concerned about alyssum toxicity towards dogs. Especially since dogs of all ages tend to be very curious in the garden. Having a bite or two of some unidentified plant is something a dog would do!

Alyssum is not poisonous to dogs and you can grow it freely in the home garden. Meaning you will not have to panic or rush your dog to the local vet if they ingest it. This is one more safe plant that you can decorate your garden with! 

This means alyssum is safe to have around your pets, but what about other domesticated animals. For instance, is alyssum poisonous to horses? 

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Is Alyssum Poisonous to Horses?

The alyssum variant Hoary Alyssum is poisonous to horses. It is a toxic weed that has become invasive and is widespread throughout the USA. This alyssum is easy to grow and is not particular as to where it grows. 

Therefore you can witness it growing on roadsides, near river banks, on vacant lots, and even in your garden.

The toxin in this weed is still unknown. This makes it very dangerous as it often unknowingly appears in fodder for horses. Whether it is fresh or in its dry state, it is still poisonous to horses. 

Symptoms of Alyssum Poisoning in Horses

Horses that undergo severe poisoning with hoary alyssum will develop diarrhea. This will in turn cause dehydration, secondary hypovolemic shock, and if left without medical treatment, death. 

After eating hoary alyssum, horses will display lameness as the poison will cause the legs and laminitis to swell. 

Symptoms to look out for include:

  • Swollen lower legs
  • Laminitis 
  • Stiffness 
  • Extreme lameness 
  • Fever

Poisonous alyssum might cause pregnant mares to abort their fetuses if they have consumed large amounts of the poisonous plant. 

Treatment of Alyssum Poisoning in Horses

Provide treatment as soon as possible, horses if grazing in the pasture, should be moved from that particular location. If given fodder whilst in the stables clear all of the grass out and dispose of it!

The animal should be treated with oral or intravenous fluids if it is suffering from diarrhea and shock. 

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Is Alyssum Edible?

Alyssum belongs to the mustard family and is edible. Sweet alyssum as it is commonly called is known for its honey-like smell that is more than appealing to humans.

What Parts of Alyssum Are Edible?

Alyssum is indeed edible and it’s not just the flowers that are edible like most edible flowering plants! The leaves and seed pods are all a delicacy if you can stomach a potent mustardy taste!

a. Flowers

Anyone who’s ever smelt alyssum will tell you that it bears a distinct resemblance to the smell of honey! This scent makes it more attractive and makes anyone want to eat it.

Unlike the other alyssum parts, you can eat the alyssum flowers whenever they are in bloom and their flavor will not vary with age. 

However, you may be a bit disappointed when you taste alyssum flowers for the first time. They taste nothing like what they smell like.

Instead of tasting sweet or like honey, they actually have a peppery or fiery flavor. 

b. Leaves

The leaves of alyssum are edible but might not find any takers since they are somewhat unpleasant in taste. Despite their distinct taste, these leaves can be cooked in the exact same way you would mustard greens. Perhaps if you commonly eat mustard leaves, you’ll adapt to these seeing as alyssum is from the same family!

c. Seed Pods

Seed pods are not very palatable when they are brown. Instead, they are best eaten when still green and soft. Although they can be referred to as ‘Sweet Alyssum’, they actually pack a punch with a much more heated taste than traditional mustard seeds.

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Alyssum is not poisonous to humans! It’s actually the opposite. This plant bears a close resemblance to mustard plants and can even be used as a substitute for horseradish in salads and meat marinades. 

Humans can safely consume the flowers, leaves, and seed pods without fear as alyssum is not poisonous to humans. These parts can be eaten raw or cooked depending on your preferences and liking to its taste. 

Alyssum is also not poisonous to dogs and cats. However, one of the variants, Hoary alyssum is poisonous to horses and should be kept away from them and especially from their fodder. 

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Can you eat white alyssum?

Yes, you can eat white alyssum. Regardless of what color the flowers are, they are still edible. Be warned, although they smell sweet, they don’t taste sweet! 

Is alyssum safe for children?

Alyssum is a non-poisonous plant that has edible properties. It is safe for growing in the garden where children play. It is also safe for cats and dogs to eat, but not too much.