Caution! Double-check your plants

A last smarty-pants post on the balcony: make sure to double-check poisonous plants to cats! I was lucky enough that I only lost money, but I could have ended up with an injured cat too.

I was very disappointed when I found out that I bought toxic flowers. I actually spend a lot of time in the flower shop, checking each plant I liked. I relied on a well-recognized and seemingly reliable source: ASPCA . While I do believe that ASPCA is in general a very good reference, mistakes happen to the best of us.

I fell in love with these flowers and checked the latin name Gypsophila elegans on ASPCA’s webpages. “Non-toxic to cats”. Great!

However, I accidentally found out that ASPCA had two articles on Gypsophila elegans under its common names Baby’s Breath and Maiden’s Breath. 

Source: Aspca , 06/25/17

The latin name is identical so we are dealing with the very same flower – but one is toxic and the other non-toxic. Obviously, ASPCA made a mistake here.

I didn’t mean to shame a great society, and I’m sure that they do put a lot of effort into their great list of toxic plants. However, mistakes do happen, and I’ve definitely learned a lesson: to double-check. Keep in mind that many webpages (including blogs) refer to ASPCA, so double-checking doesn’t help when both websites use the same source!

Opinions and research on toxic plants to cats differ, and you’re likely to find contradictory statements. Oh yes, I spend many hours googling a replacement for my flowers. In the end, I had a small list of flowers which a) most sources considered non-toxic, b) I liked, c) were not too expensive and d) suitable for sub-arctic climate and an eastward balcony.

P.S. I already emailed ASPCA and asked them to control their entries on Gypsophila elegans. I’m sure they do their best to keep their pages updated and reliable!