There are many beautiful plants in the world, some of which are harmless and others which can harm humans, animals or the environment when they come into contact through touch or ingestion. So what are some poisonous plants and what effects can they have?
Water hemlock is probably the most poisonous plant in North America. Closely related to the Hemlock plant, which Socrates famously ingested and died from, Water Hemlock is often confused with parship or celery plants, making it extremely dangerous. If one accidentally ingests this plant it is likely the results will be fatal, and if not extremely painful. If you survive the encounter with Water Hemlock, you are likely to suffer from amnesia and tremors long after it has left your system.
Another example of a deadly plant is the aptly named “Deadly Nightshade”. The plant has berries the size of cherries, which are often consumed by unsuspecting children or travellers, however eating these berries causes paralysis of the body, and simply touching the leaves can cause skin irritations. Deadly Nightshade is found in the Eurasian forests, and should be avoided at all costs.
Oleander is another beautiful, but deadly plant. Every part of the Oleander plant contains cardiac glycosides known as oleandrin, which when ingested can cause vomiting, seizure, fast pulse, comas and even death. It’s beautiful flowers make this plant one to watch out for, as it’s easy to feel inclined to pick it as you walk by. Oleander is a killer disguised as a beautiful woman.
The Castor Bean plant is native to Africa, and is often used for ornamental purposes. When processed, the seeds of the Castor Bean plant become a source of castor oil, however in their natural form they contain the deadly poison ricin. If a child consumes just two of these beans the effect can be fatal. Ricin inhibits the synthesis of proteins within the body’s cells, and results in severe vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and sometimes death.