A TV botanist has revealed that a popular vegan blogger has been decorating her food with poisonous flowers in Instagram photos.

James Wong, who regularly appears on CountryFile, said on Twitter that flowers decorating a fruity pink chia seed pudding in a viral photo were highly toxic and could cause vomiting.

Though he didn't name the blogger, FEMAIL Food&Drink can reveal the photo was originally posted on Instagram by San Francisco-based cookbook author Marie Reginato, who has 74,000 followers.

Her Instagram feed reveals she has decorated several dishes with the toxic flowers, which are PaperWhite Narcissus blooms.


Wong, who grew to prominence with his TV show How To Grow Your Own Drugs, said of the chia seed pudding photo to his 66,000 followers on Twitter: "Another day, another 'clean eating' Instagramer posting images of toxic flowers on food.

"It may not contain dairy or gluten *gasp* but it does contain the toxic plant alkaloid, lycorine.

"Symptoms: Itching, swelling, (and in quantity) nausea, vomiting & convulsions."

Wong did not reveal the type of flower on the chia seed pudding, but other botany enthusiasts identified it as flowers of the Paperwhite Narcissus plant, a member of the daffodil family.

They are toxic to both animals and humans and all parts of the plant are poisonous, though the bulbs are the most toxic part.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, eating them can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and convulsions.

The Novia Scotia Museum confirms they are toxic, and says that if a human eats one, it can cause "dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, and pain. Convulsions and death may occur if enough has been eaten."

It hasn't stopped Reginato, the author of the Alternative Vegan cookbook, from decorating several of her dishes with them for photos on Instagram.

It is not known however if she has only used the flowers for decoration, or if she intended to consume them.

James used the photo as a warning to his followers not to eat a plant that isn't a staple ingredient if you're not sure if it's safe.

He wrote: "If you are not 100 per cent sure something is edible, just don't eat it.

"If it's a staple eaten for centuries which you don't have a diagnosed medical intolerance or allergy to, it's probably safe".

Several of her followers have highlighted that the flowers are poisonous in comments on her photos.

FEMAIL has asked Reginato for comment.