15 Poisonous And Extremely Lethal Plants
Not all plants and flowers should be appreciated. As it turns out, plants often possess an uncanny intelligence. Some try to form a symbiosis with mammals, as in cases where plants produce edible fruits for mammals for the sake of seed dispersal. Some plants, however, take the opposite route: they produce extremely lethal defense mechanisms. Plants cannot get up and run away from predators, so often they’ll produce a cocktail of toxins with which to defend themselves. The following list consists of such dangerous plants, and as you’ll find out, some of these plants just might be in your home, backyard or even at your children’s school. What’s more, there are other plants that produce what seems to be ripe, succulent fruit, but are hiding a harmful surprise.
Usually found in the mountain regions of Northern Europe and Asia, Wolfsbane is a genus of over 250 species of plants. It contains alkaloid pseudaconitine, which leads to eventual asphyxiation once ingested. This one is particularly dangerous as it can be absorbed through skin. Furthermore, this plant has been used to lace arrows with its poison, or on harpoons when hunting whales.
This plant is often found in the warmer climates of the northern hemisphere. This one is famous because it was used to execute Socrates, the philosopher. It contains cicutoxin, which upon ingestion usually causes seizures within 15 minutes, followed later by respiratory failure or ventricular fibrillation. The extra danger with this plant is that it resembles others in the family Apiaceae, some of which are edible.
Also known as “Deadly Nightshade”, Belladonna is native to northern Africa, Europe and western Asia. It contains tropane alkaloids. About 2-5 berries are lethal, or simply eating a single leaf. It causes a whole host of bizarre symptoms, but the most lethal is the disruption of a human’s involuntary actions like breathing, heart rate, sweating. Ironically, this poison has been used in much smaller quantities for medicinal purposes.