12901 N. La Montana Dr.,
Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
Call Today
Current Hours

Weds – Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Closed on Sun – Tues

Latest News

Field Guide Series – Poisonous Plants & Critters of Arizona

by | Nov 4, 2022

Gain fundamental, practical knowledge of your surroundings

Field Guide Series – Poisonous Plants & Critters of Arizona“Small but Mighty” may be the best way to describe our new Easy Field Guides, reviewed by our own Yvonne Prater, Director of Operations. Each book is fully illustrated, and filled with a plethora of interesting facts that are easy to understand to help answer the thoughtful question, “What is that?”

If you missed them, you could read her first and second Field Guide reviews on our website. This is the third guide in the series and is titled “Poisonous Plants & Critters of Arizona.”

How Many Types of Toxin?

This guide will identify 29 of the most commonly found toxins in Arizona. Toxins are poisons produced in nature. Venoms are toxins that are injected by a bite or sting. Nature’s other toxins are absorbed through the blood stream, digestive tract, lungs, or skin. They affect mucous membranes, tissues, or the circulatory system. Reactions can range from very mild irritation to severe discomfort and even death. Poisons affect individuals differently depending on their age, health, and heredity.

Mexican Bird of Paradise

Did you know that in Arizona, the name Mexican Bird of Paradise is routinely shared with its cousins the Red Bird of Paradise and the Desert Bird of Paradise? All three have 2–4-inch tan or yellowish seedpods which are flat, and the lima bean-shaped seeds are often toxic. Mexican and Desert Bird of Paradise flowers are yellow, and the Red Bird of Paradise flowers can be orange or red.


Since not all potential sources of nature’s poisons are included in this guide, you should always treat all unknown plants and critters with respect. Signs that someone may have had contact with a toxin may include convulsions, diarrhea, numbness, rash, vomiting, and loss of appetite. If you think you may have been exposed, medical diagnosis and treatment are strongly recommended.

Available Now at Riverbanks at the River of Time

There is great pleasure to be had from gaining fundamental, practical knowledge of your surroundings. We hope you enjoy and anticipate the selected topics in this series each month.  These guides are published by American Traveler Press and can be found in our museum’s gift shop, Riverbanks. We are open Tuesday – Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.