Edible Plants for Tortoises and Turtles

There are many common ornamental and garden plants that turtles and tortoise relish. The scientific names for plants are provided in parentheses. These names are used world-wide. Common/regional names are also used however these names may vary. One should always use the scientific name when selecting plants to insure that the correct plant is selected. Plants should be free of residues from herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and fertilizers. The plants listed below are considered safe and non-toxic for our shelled pets.

AVIOD Chrysanthemum family plants as some are non-toxic while others are TOXIC.

Above information obtained from Tortuga Gazette 28(1):6-7, January 1992.

Poisonous Plants for Tortoises and Turtles

This list should not be considered complete. Plants that are listed below should not be fed to pets and should be avoided in enclosures in which pets are kept or have access. Questions about specific plants should be directed to your veterinarian or poison control at www.aspca.org

Explanation of toxicity:

1.Oxalates: these plants contain oxalate salts. Contact with the sap can cause burning, swelling and pain. Treatment includes rinsing mouth and washing skin with mild soap and water. Monitor for difficulty swallowing and/or breathing and drooling. Monitor for irritation, swelling or blistering of mouth and oral tissues.

2.Toxic or Potentially Toxic: These plants can be toxic to varying degrees and should be considered with caution. Toxic effects can range from mild irritation to severe organ damage. Call poison control or your veterinarian if you think your pet ingested these plants.

3.Dermatitis: contact with sap can cause skin rash, itching or irritation. Rinse with water and if irritation persists, contact your veterinarian.

4.Unknown: Suspected toxicity but information incomplete. If contact or ingestion occurs contact poison control and your veterinarian.

The above information was published in Tortuga Gazette 28(1):8-10 January 1992. The list itself was based on list of plants published by the University of California Irvine, Regional Poison Center list of plants potentially toxic to humans.

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