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see West Melton

Alpaca Articles

Nic and Linda keep up-to-date with the latest in alpaca information, by reading widely, being a member of the New Zealand, Australian, British and American alpaca associations, and attending conferences worldwide.

They share this knowledge with others through holding industry training days and workshops, writing articles for industry magazines in New Zealand, Australia, UK, and USA and also through articles on this website and other websites.

Click here for more articles  



Extracts from “Is It Poisonous?” by 
Dr Helen Dauncey and Robyn Lawson, 
NZ Poisons Information Centre, 1994

Plus added personal knowledge from 
Southern Alpacas Stud from a stock perspective.

We remove these plants from alpaca reach.

If you suspect your alpaca has eaten these, 
call for vet help.


N.B. When viewing or printing this page, make sure the margins are wide enough so
the text lines up.



Angel’s trumpets All, esp flowers and seeds  small tree, trumpet flowers
Apples of Sodom mottled green & white berry weed - shrub with prickles
Arum lilies 
Kaffir lily (clivias)
all – burning feel  in mouth large white trumpet lily
Asparagus fern red berries poisonous garden plant, fern-like
Atropa belladonnas
Black nightshade
all parts highly poisonous
leaves and unripe black berries
aka Deadly Nightshade
like black currant berries
leaves and stem
leaves and stem - deadly to camelids
garden shrub/tree
colourful flowers


Bittersweet   solanum family
Boxus (box) hedge


ornamental hedge
Boxthorn scarlet berries hedge plant with prickles
Bracken when prolonged feeding, esp new growth colonising plant esp on bush edges
Brassicas too much is poisonous to stock cabbages, cauliflowers etc
Buttercups in large quantities when fresh 
OK dried in hay
burning feel in mouth
too much is poisonous to stock
yellow flowers - grows in damp pasture



Cape lilacs berries toxic
Cape tulips all highly toxic even when dead/dried rare - spring flowering bulb
Castor oil beans shiny seed capsule with 3 seeds
4.5m, large leaves, greenish-white to rust 

all parts, green or dried                        

yellow flowered shrub


Daffodils stems and bulbs if 1 plant worth eaten spring flowering bulbs
Daphnes all sweet-smelling pink flowers, garden bush
Datura all parts, green or dried hanging white trumpet flowers
Deadly nightshade all parts highly poisonous
leaves and unripe black berries
like black currant berries


Foxgloves   poisonous to stock in quantity   weed - tall flower spike with bell flowers


Hemlock all highly toxic, even when dead/dried weed to 2m, parsley-like leaves
Horse chestnuts seeds(conkers) English tree, deciduous


Inkweeds red-black berries, leaves, roots woody plant to 2m high with flower spike
Iris many are poisonous, esp Stinking Iris
with orange seeds
garden flower, often blue or yellow
Ivies all evergreen climber with shiny leaves


Jerusalem cherries all, especially shiny orange berries small shrub, star-like flowers, pointed leaves 


Karaka tree kernel of large orange berries NZ native, small green flowers, dark green leaves
Kowhai all, especially yellow seed in long pods NZ native, deciduous, drooping yellow flowers


Laburnums all, especially bark and seeds - 8 kidney shaped, in green pod yellow pea-type flowers
Lantanas green berries garden plant
 few are poisonous - 
causes stinging in mouth
garden plant
Lilies of the Valley all, especially seeds bulb - sweet-smelling small white bell-shaped flowers
Lobelias all garden plant


Macrocarpa leaves cause stock abortion in all stock OK for male stock 
Milkwood fruit, leaves, milky sap weed to 40cm, greenish-yellow flowers  


Ngaios all green parts and fruit - CAUTION
in coastal areas looks like coprosma, 
also called karamu, another native 
shrub/tree, which alpacas love
NZ native with pale spots in leaves
(Onga ongas)
harmful to touch, stinging hairs - especially native tree nettle nettle in grass, or tree nettle to 2.5m
Nightshades see Deadly nightshade
also poroporo, solanum below


Oleanders all garden shrub 


Pennyroyal can cause abortion a crawling plant
Photinia (red robin) the red leaves contain arsenic, which can cause abortion hedging plant
Poinsettias milky sap blisters skin, stings mouth garden plant
Poppies Iceland poppy and Opium poppy garden plant
Poroporos aka
nightshades, solanum
leaves, berries - green, ripening to orange-yellow - related to deadly nightshade NZ native, 2m, purple flowers
Privet berries in large numbers hedge plant


Queen of the Night    


Rhododendron all,  pruning/clipping fatal to stock 
just 14 leaves for an alpaca 
honey poisonous to humans
shrubs and trees
Rhubarb leaf has oxalic acid - do not eat, raw or 
cooked (stem OK raw and cooked)
vegetable garden plant
Rhus plant toxic - dermatitis in half of humans, including smoke when burnt deciduous tree with striking autumn foliage


aka poroporo
potato and tomato family, and NZ native poroporo has poisonous leaves and berries - green, ripening to orange-yellow NZ native, 2m, purple flowers
Spindle Tree   fruiting tree, attractive pink pods
Sweet Peas pods poisonous to stock flowering garden plant


Tutus all, especially black-purple grape-like berries
(and honey poisonous to humans)
NZ native - climber and shrub, purple grape like berries


Wax tree harmful to touch to children small deciduous tree
White cedars all - aka Chinaberry, Indian bead, Persian lilac  


Yew leaves and berries evergreen tree
  Please tell us if you know of more poisonous plants in New Zealand

Updated November 2005

Nic Cooper and Linda Blake
Main West Coast Road, West Melton, RD1, Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone 0064 3 318-1917 | fax 0064 3 318-1927 | email alpacasnz@xtra.co.nz