This beautiful bloom is an Australian favourite (we even have a National Rhododendron Garden in Victoria!) but don’t let its beauty deceive you – this vibrant plant is more potent than it seems.
No part of this beauty is safe for animals or humans! With the pollen and nectar containing a toxin called grayanotoxin, grazing animals have been known to fall victim to these poisonous blooms.
More insidious than this, is that people have become ill from eating honey made by bees that use rhododendron pollen in their hives!
Consumption of petals or leaves can lead to violent nausea accompanied by watery eyes and a drooling mouth.
Awful as this outcome sounds, it is only a precursor to more serious symptoms that can include comas, violent seizures and eventually, death.