'Curious' About Poisonous Plants Outside PruWBZ

It was unusual landscaping to begin with — plants outside a Boston landmark that could be dangerous and even deadly.

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Richard in Weymouth is Curious:

“Why are there oleander topiary trees in front of the Prudential Center? The “deadly oleander” is not just toxic, but fatal if ingested.”

Thanks to Richard’s comment, those trees are now gone. They are pretty, pink and poisonous, and they were planted outside the Prudential Center.

It’s a plant normally found on the west coast. If the leaves were eaten by a child or pet it could make them sick, or worse.

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“I’ve seen people eat the leaves of these plants,” said David Fiske from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

When Fiske learned what kind of plant the Prudential was using to landscape, he was somewhat surprised.

“Is oleander a wise choice to landscape downtown with?” WBZ’s Jonathan Elias asked.

“No, they could have picked any number of plants that would be beautiful and would not have been potentially harmful if someone were to eat the leaves of that plant material,” Fiske said.

And talk about quick reaction. We called the Prudential Center to share our Curiosity e-mail with them, and the Pru quickly removed all 22 oleander plants. A spokesman said they are grateful that a viewer pointed out the potential problem and they are taking no chances.

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So the plants surrounding the Pru are beautiful and now oleander-free.
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