All plants have certain toxins in their composition as a way to keep predators at bay. So the following list of 10 most dangerous plants that will kill you is not about carnivorous plants which feed on small insects and indulge in a rat every now and then. It’s about plants that have very high doses of toxins, making them fatal for people. Unlike animals, who have a higher tolerance for poison, humans are very vulnerable. Children, especially, are the easiest victims of these fatal plants: their are curious and what to check out the bright colored fruit. Pair that with a very low poison tolerance and it’s not rocket science to figure out why they’re easy targets.
10. White snakeroot
Although it looks innocent, especially after it blooms and its tiny fluffy seeds are blown away by the wind, the White snakeroot is deadly to humans, but not directly. Also known as the White Sanicle or Tall Boneset, this plant presents a very high percentage of tremetol, a dangerous toxin. If cattle eat it, it gets absorbed into their milk and meat, which are then fatal for people who consume them.
9. Dolls’ eyes
With a seemingly harmless name and cute appearance, Doll’s eyes or the White Baneberry, has highly poisonous fruit. Found in Eastern and Northern America, it has 1 cm white fruit with a black stigma scar, resembling an eye. The high concentration of toxin in the fruit has claimed the lives of many kids.
8. Angel’s trumpets
This plant can be found all around the world and can be easily distinguished by its trumpet flowers that can reach as much ad 50 cm in length and can vary in color, from white and yellow to orange and pink. Angel’s trumpets are dangerous because they contain tropane alkaloids scopolamine and atropine. It has been used as a recreational drug, and caused overdosing because the level of toxicity in the plant’s parts can vary.
7. Strychnine tree
With green to orange fruit packed with Strychnine and Brucine, this plant won’t take long to kill you by stimulating the sensory ganglia in the spine. The strychnine tree can be found in India and South East Asia and is also known as the Quaker Button.
6. English Yew
50g of this fatal fruit is enough to induce difficulty breathing, convulsions, tremors and a cardiac arrest. The small tree’s seeds are enclosed in a soft shell, which is the only part of the plant that is not poisonous. This allows birds to spread the English Yew’s seeds without getting poisoned.
5. Water hemlock
One of the most fatal plants of North America, the water hemlock has pretty little white or green flowers displayed in the shape of an umbrella. Its fatal effects don’t delay to manifest themselves through vomiting, abdominal pains, tremors and confusion, ultimately leading to seizures and respiratory failure. All these symptoms are caused by cicutoxin which can kill a human in a few hours after ingestion.
Also known as the devil’s helmet, this highly poisonous plant can be found in the mountainous regions. In the past it was used by Japanese on the tips of their arrows for hunting. The alkaloid pseudaconitine in the wolfsbane can kill an adult within 2-6 hours. The first symptoms include burning in the abdomen and limbs.
3. Rosary Pea
Even though its seeds are used as beads, they are very dangerous and handling or wearing them can be fatal. Native to Indonesia and also known as the Crab’s eye, this plant contains a highly toxic poison, abrin, which would make even 3 micrograms fatal to an adult. The red orange fruit with a black spot may look attractive, but they’re better left alone.
These might look as juicy as black cherries, but they’re better known as the death cherries. The Tropane alkaloids makes the Belladonna one of the most poisonous plants in the world. The leaves are more poisonous than the fruit. If 10-20 berries will kill a grown man, a single leaf will be fatal to an adult. The symptoms include loss of voice, difficulty breathing and convulsions.
1. Castor plants
Holding the Guiness World Record for the most poisonous plant, this one is dangerous because of the ricin that can be found in the plant, beans and leaves. An adult can be killed if he eats 1-4 seeds, while a duck can eat as many as 80 seeds before feeling sick. The symptoms will last as long as two days, including a burning sensation in the throat, abdominal pain and vomiting. The fatal process cannot be stopped and the poisoned humans die of dehydration.