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Toxic Plants in Florida: Sago, Coontie, Cardboard

There are several types of plants very common in Ponte Vedra that are highly toxic to pets and children if eaten. I’d always known about Sago Palms thanks to the poster in the lobby of Ponte Vedra Animal Hospital, but the dangers of Coontie Palms were completely unknown to me.

A good friend recently lost her beloved dog Ranger after he ingested Coontie Palm seeds.  Please check your yards. If you have small kids or pets prone to chewing, consider having these plants removed. My Coonties are being pulled out this week!

Sweet Puppy Ranger Suffered Liver Failure After Ingesting Coontie Palm Seeds

Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. Seek care immediately, as survival rates drop with time. Please check your yards and walking routes and either pull out the plants completely or keep your loved ones away.

Sago Palm (cycas revoluta)

Sago Palm Seed
Sago Palm Seeds

Sago palms are very popular and can be potted, low to the ground or quite tall. Only the female plants have a central crown with the seeds, which are large, round-ish, orange- red and hard skinned.

Sago Palms are very popular around Ponte Vedra Beach.

Coontie Palm Seeds

Coontie Palm (zamia floridana) and Cardboard Palm (zamia furfuracea)

These bushier plants aren’t as easy to spot, but they’re just as toxic. They are in all the parking islands at the PV Inn & Club. The female plants have dark cones that ripen and disintegrate into angular orange-red seeds. Plants in the zamia family can have wide or narrow leaves.

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