Whenever people think of plants, they associate it with the terms “beauty” and “lovely,” among others. They even use these living organisms as decorations to make their home more lively and vibrant. There are also plants that help advance the medical technology of humanity, helping sick people feel better and relieved. However, there is still a need for people to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Truth be told: there are plants in this world that can actually lead to a person’s death. They are basically dangerous, and these are the types that one should veer away from. Otherwise, that person would most likely face the end of times.
Interestingly, IFLScience has a compiled a list of the most dangerous plants in Earth. Some are well-known, but most are rarely heard by common people.
Without further ado, here are nine of the most life-threatening plants in this planet. Consider yourself warned.
#1. Aconitum Napellus, commonly known as ‘Monkshood’ and ‘Wolfsbane’
At first glance, one would really fall in love with its beauty. The Aconitum Napellus looks stunning and harmless, but make no mistake, it is actually poisonous. People in archaic times would use this plants on the tips of their arrow to kill enemies a lot faster. They even used it as bait to fend off wolves, thus the nickname “Wolfsbane.” If eaten, the victim could experience vomiting, numbness and diarrhea, leading to death.
#2. Ricinus Communis or ‘Castor Bean’
Have you watched “Breaking Bad?” The show’s main protagonist Bryan Cranston (infamously known as Heisenberg) used it once to his enemy. Well, not really the entire plant, but its ricin. The latter can cause stomach irritation, increased heart rate and low blood pressure, among others. Contrary to popular belief, ricin can only be harmful when eaten.
#3. Cicuta or ‘Water Hemlock’
Another plant that looks stunning from the outside, but is actually dangerous from the inside. Some people mistake Water Hemlock as Queen Anne’s Lace, as they somehow have small white flowers with them. The difference is that the latter has a single red blossom, which can be found at the very heart of its white flowers. The Cicuta is considered the most common poisonous plant in all of US and UK, and it has victimized a good number of people already. Once eaten, the victim will fist experience seizures before dying.
#4. Datura Stramonium, commonly known as ‘Angel’s Trumpet,’ ‘Jimson Weed,’ and ‘Devil’s Snare’
This might be the most interesting plant in the entire list, though it is still dangerous like the others. There is an old saying connected to the Datura Stramonium, that its victims become “hot as a hare, blind as a bat, dry as a bone, red as a beet and mad as a hatter.” Later on, science was able to prove its authenticity. Some of its victims even show aggressiveness and combativeness. No wonder it is coined as such.
#5. Dendrocnide Moroides or “Gympie Gympie”
Its name may sound funny or ridiculous, but its effects are no laughing matter. Common in Australia, this plant covers itself with microscopic hairs that are poisonous. Just a single touch could already mean death. Although there were victims who recovered from its sting, they experienced severe pain for months.
#6. Heracleum Mantegazzianum or commonly known as ‘Giant Hogweed,’ ‘Cartwheel-flower,’ and ‘Giant Cow Parsnip’
Victims of Heracleum Mantegazzianum experience blisters, rashes and permanent scarring. Worst case scenario, though, is that it can cause blindness. This plant is capable of growing up to 20 feet tall. Its level of toxicity is so severe that the US government coined it as the most “noxious weed” in the country.
#7. Actaea Pachypoda or ‘White Baneberry’
Not only is this plant dangerous or poisonous, it also looks creepy. It has eyeballs-like features, which are somewhat perfect for a horror movie. It has earned its nicknames “White Baneberry” and “Doll’s Eyes” due to its appearance. This one is so poisonous that even animals avoid it by nature.
#8. Aristolochia Clematitis or ‘Birthwort’
Interestingly, this plant here is being used by medical practitioners as an alternate medicine. While some claim its effectiveness, the US Food and Drug Administration encourage consumers to stop consuming it. Why? Because it is reportedly the number one cause of kidney failures in America. Science suggests that the plant’s stem and roots are packed with poisonous acid. So, as much as possible, it is best to avoid it.
#9. Hippomane Mancinella, commonly known as ‘Manchineel Tree’ and ‘Beach Apple’
This is perhaps the trickiest plant in the list, as it bears fruit that looks mouthwatering. However, when eaten, it can cause temporary blindness and painful blisters. Victims who ate the tree’s fruits were reportedly experiencing a burning sensation. Although its effects can be relieved by modern medicine, it still is capable of providing serious damage to the human body.
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