You may think these plants are beautiful, but beware, they are silent killers. When you encounter them, do not even touch them. In some instances, just one touch is enough to cause your death.
- Oleander (Nerium Oleander)
This beautiful bush grows flowering fragrant blossoms that look anything but menacing. However, these plants are only good to look at. Never think of putting the leaves or stems in your mouth. These plants are especially dangerous to children who may become ill just by touching one leaf. For adults, touching the plant or ingesting even a tiny bit of it can produce symptoms leading to death. In fact, some people in India use the plant to commit suicide by ingesting the Oleander seeds.
- Diarrhea (could be bloody)
- Cramping and pain
- Exessive salivation
- Racing heart rate
- Irregular heart rate
- Poor circulation
- Many Continents
- Manchineel (Hippomane Mancinella)
Often referred to as the ‘little apple of death,’ this plant is one of the most poisonous in the world.
When it rains, white sap oozes from the tree, blistering the skin of anyone that the sap drips on. If the tree is burned, toxic fumes are released causing respiratory problems and blindness. The fruit on the tree is highly toxic to both humans and animals when ingested, causing a death that is quite agonizing.
Locals try to warn people by placing a red X on the tree trunk under a sign that reads ‘Warning! The leaves, bark, and fruits of these trees contain a caustic sap which may be injurious if touched. Columbus described the small green fruits as ‘death apples.’
- Central America
- Northern South America
- Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna)
Every part of this plant is highly toxic, leading to death in children after only consuming two berries, that have been dubbed ‘Devil’s Berries,’ or ‘Death Cherries.’ Considered one of the most deadly plants in the West Hemisphere, those who eat the leaves or berries from this plant will dies without administration of an antidote. The plant disrupts involuntary activities in the body, including breathing, heart beat, and sweating.
- Dilated pupils
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Loss of balance
- Dry mouth and throat
- Loss of balance
- Slurred speech
- Urinary retention
- Castor Beans
Oddly enough you can consume castor oil, but not castor beans. You may think castor oil is bad because it doesn’t taste good, but it helps with digestion. However, one castor bean can kill a full grown adult in just minutes. Ricin is the poisonous compound found in the bean, that is removed when making castor oil.
Symptoms (if the bean doesn’t kill you):
- Water Hemlock (Cicutal)
Dubbed ‘the most violently toxic plant in North America,’ anyone who eats or touches the plant roots will fall victim to grand mal seizures leading to their death. Typically found along the banks of streams, or in wet marshy meadows, there is often no time to save the unsuspecting victim.
- North America
- English Yew (Taxus Baccata)
The berries of this evergreen are the only part that is non-toxic. Considered one of the most poisonous trees on the planet, it was once used to abort babies, but the mother typically died along with the fetus. With no available antidote available, victims suffer cardiac issues quickly leading to their death.
Many people love Rhubarb Pie, made from the stems of the Rhubarb plant, but consumption of the leaves is deadly. Fatal symptoms occur up to an hour after eating the leaves.
- Internal bleeding
These flowers smell so good it might make you want to eat the yellow or red berries on the plant, but they are highly toxic. Just one handful of the berries can be enough to kill you.
- Burning mouth
- Burning intestinal tract
- North Africa
- Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
This tropical plant is one of the most toxic in the world. A common household plant, it loves the shade, but if anyone even chews on the leaves it can kill them.
- Excessive salivation
- Intense mouth pain
- Intense sore throat
- Severe throat swelling
- Death by strangulation
- Jimson Weed (Datura Stramonium)
This plant is responsible for the first death that was caused by a plant in the United States. Used to debilitate British soldiers, settlers in Jamestown, Virginia would feed this weed to their captives. Those who didn’t die would go insane for 11 days, not remembering any of it once it wore off.
Some people purposely consume the plant to go on a hallucinogenic trip, but it is almost impossible to prevent overdosing. This weed was dubbed ‘mad seeds’ in South Africa.
- Vision distortions
- Abnormal thirst