7 of the deadliest plants in the world

7 of the deadliest plants in the world
7 of the deadliest plants in the world

They may seem harmless enough, but plants can contain some of the deadliest poisons known. From Socrates’ death from poison hemlock to children’s accidental ingestion of deadly nightshade, poisonous plants have been responsible for human deaths throughout history. Get to know some of the most infamous plants and their poisons in this creepy list.

Water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

Closely related to poison hemlock (the plant that famously killed Socrates), water hemlock is considered “the most toxic plant in North America.” A large wildflower in the carrot family, water hemlock looks like Queen Anne’s lace and is sometimes mistaken for an edible parsnip or celery. However, water hemlock is infused with deadly cicutoxin, especially in its roots, and will quickly generate potentially fatal symptoms in anyone unlucky enough to eat it. Painful convulsions, abdominal cramps, nausea and death are common, and those who survive are often afflicted with amnesia or persistent tremors.

Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna)

According to legend, Macbeth’s soldiers poisoned the invading Danes with wine made from the sweet fruit of the deadly nightshade. In fact, it is the sweetness of the berries that often lures children and unwitting adults to consume this deadly plant. Native to forested or barren areas in central and southern Eurasia, the deadly nightshade has dull green leaves and shiny black fruits the size of cherries. Nightshade contains atropine and scopolamine in its stems, leaves, fruits and roots and causes paralysis of the body’s involuntary muscles, including the heart. Even physical contact with the leaves can cause skin irritation.

Get these plants out of your home immediately because they are DANGEROUS

White snake root (Ageratina altissima)

A harmless plant, white snakeroot, was responsible for the death of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks. White snakeroot is a North American herb with flat tops of small white flowers and contains a toxic alcohol known as trematol. Unlike those who died from direct ingestion of deadly plants, poor Nancy Hanks was poisoned by simply drinking the milk of a cow that grazed the plant. In fact, both meat and milk from poisoned livestock can transmit the toxin to humans. Symptoms of “milk poisoning” include loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, abdominal discomfort, red tongue, abnormal blood acidity, and death. Fortunately, farmers are now aware of this life-threatening hazard and are making efforts to eliminate the plant from animal pastures.

Castor (Ricinus communis)

Widely grown as an ornamental plant, castor is an attractive plant native to Africa. Although processed seeds are a source of castor oil, they naturally contain the poison ricin and are deadly in small amounts. It only takes one or two seeds to kill a child and up to eight to kill an adult. Ricin works by inhibiting protein synthesis in cells and can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. The poison was used in the 1978 assassination of Georgi Markov, a journalist who spoke out against the Bulgarian government, and was mailed to several American politicians in failed terrorist attempts. Most deaths result from accidental ingestion by children and pets.

Rosary pea (Abrus precatorius)

Also called equirite beans, these piously named seeds contain abrin, an extremely lethal ribosome-inhibiting protein. Rosary peas are native to tropical regions and are often used in jewelry and prayer beads. While the seeds are not poisonous if intact, seeds that are scratched, broken or chewed can be deadly. It only takes 3 micrograms of abrin to kill an adult, which is less than the amount of poison in a single seed, and many jewelry makers are said to have become ill or died after accidentally pricking their fingers while worked with the seeds. Like ricin, abrin prevents protein synthesis in cells and can cause organ failure within four days.

These indoor plants are dangerous for children, dogs and cats

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Described by Pliny the Elder in Ancient Rome, the oleander is a beautiful plant known for its striking flowers. Although it is commonly grown as a hedge and ornamental, all parts of the oleander plant are deadly and contain deadly cardiac glycosides known as oleandrin and nerin. If eaten, oleander can cause vomiting, diarrhea, irregular pulse, seizures, coma, and death, and contact with the leaves and sap is known to be a skin irritant to some people. Indeed, the toxins in oleander are so strong that people get sick after eating honey made by bees that visit the flowers! Fortunately, deaths from oleander poisoning are rare, as the plant is very bitter and thus quickly deters anyone who samples the vegetation.

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)

Tobacco is the most common commercial non-food crop in the world. All parts of the plant, especially its leaves, contain the toxic alkaloids nicotine and anabasine and can be fatal if consumed. Despite its designation as a heart poison, nicotine from tobacco is widely consumed worldwide and is both psychoactive and addictive. Tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths annually, making it perhaps the deadliest plant in the world.


The article is in bulgaria

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