Here’s a list of the 10 deadly plants which you need to remove from your home immediately:
1. Water Hemlock (Cicuta Maculata)
This plant is closely related to the poison hemlock, which was used to kill Socrates in ancient times. This plant has been dubbed “the most violently toxic plant in North America” and it truly lives up to its nickname. It’s a large wildflower from the carrot family and it’s similar to Queen Anne’s lace by appearance. It can sometimes even be mixed up with parsnips or celery, and if ingested can have deadly consequences. Water hemlock contains a deadly cictutoxin which is mostly concentrated in its roots and its consequences are felt almost immediately after exposure. Symptoms form water hemlock poisoning are painful convulsion, abdominal cramps, nausea and the most fatal cases result in death. Survivors from this type of poisoning often experience amnesia and lasting tremors.
2. Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna)
The legend says that Macbeth’s soldiers poisoned the Danish invaders with wine spiced with the sweet fruit of the Belladonna. Its sweet taste and berry-like fruits are responsible for most cases of poisoning. The nightshade is native to the wooded areas in central and southern Europe and Asia and it has dull green leaves and black cherry-sized berries. The poison responsible for its toxicity is atropine and scopolamine which can be found in its stems, leaves, fruits and even roots. The poison, if ingested, causes paralysis of the involuntary muscles, including the heart, which can quickly have deadly consequences. It’s so poisonous that even if your skin comes in contact with the plant it can become irritated and inflamed.
3. White Snakeroot (Ageratina Altissima)
White snakeroot is native to North America and it’s an herb with flat-topped clusters of small white flowers, containing a toxic alcohol, called trematol. This herb is responsible for the death of Nancy Hawks, Abraham Lincoln’s mother. The worst thing about white snakeroot is that you don’t have to ingest it directly to be poisoned, Nancy died from drinking the milk of a cow that had previously grazed on this herb. This means that even the meat and milk from poisoned cattle can have deadly consequences if ingested. The usual symptoms of white snakeroot “milk poisoning” include loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, abdominal discomfort, red tongue, abnormal acidity of the blood, and eventually death. However, nowadays farmers are warned about the toxicity of this deadly plant and do everything in their power to remove it from their pastures.
4. Castor Bean (Ricinus Communis)
Castor bean is usually grown as an ornamental plant due to its attractive looks and it’s native to Africa. We’ve all heard about castor oil which is produced from processed seeds, but before processing the beans contain a poison called ricin which is extremely deadly even in very small amounts. Just one or two seeds are enough to kill a child while just eight seeds can easily kill an adult person. Ricin prevents the synthesis of proteins within cells and can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and lead to death. The most famous case of ricin poisoning has to be the assassination of Georgi Markov in 1978, a journalist who spoke out against the Bulgarian government. Most fatalities are the result of accidental ingestion by children and pets.
5. Rosary Pea (Abrus Precatorius)
Rosary peas, otherwise known as jequirity beans contain abrin, an extremely deadly ribosome-inhibiting protein. This plant is native to tropical areas and is often used in jewelry and prayer rosaries. It’s curious that if the seeds aren’t damaged they are not poisonous, while if they are somehow scratched, broken, or chewed can be deadly. 3 micrograms of abrin are enough to kill an adult, which is less than the amount of poison in one seed, and it is said that numerous jewelry makers have poisoned themselves and even died after accidentally puncturing their fingers while working with the seeds. Like ricin, abrin prevents protein synthesis within cells and can cause organ failure within four days.
6. Oleander (Nerium Oleander)
Oleander is a majestic plant known for its amazing pink flowers. Knowing how toxic this plant is we’re amazed at how many people commonly use it as a hedge and ornamental flower in their yard. All the parts of an oleander plant are deadly and contain a toxin called oleandrin and nerine. If accidentally ingested, oleander can cause vomiting, diarrhea, erratic pulse, seizures, coma, and death, and for some people even the slightest physical contact with this plant can lead to a rash and irritation. This plant is so poisonous that some people have gotten ill from eating honey made from bees that extracted pollen from this plant. However, oleander poisoning is really rare because the plant has a very bitter taste and doesn’t encourage anyone to taste it.
7. Tobacco (Nicotiana Tabacum)
Tobacco is the most widely grown commercial non-food plant in the world. All parts of the plant, especially its leaves, contain the toxic alkaloids nicotine and anabasine, and can be fatal if eaten. Despite its designation as a cardiac poison, nicotine from tobacco is widely consumed around the world and is both psychoactive and addictive. Tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths per year, making it perhaps the deadliest plant in the world.
8. Angel Trumpet
This majestic vine is a native South American plant and contains three powerful toxins, atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine, which has mind altering properties. Its deadly properties are not so deadly on its own but more when it’s used as a biological weapon by people. There was a documentary made in 2007, called “Colombian Devil’s Breath” where it was described how this majestic plant was used by criminal gang members to turn their victims into walking zombies. It has the power to make its victims unaware of what they are doing but still completely conscious. In the documentary there were a number of horrifying stories about people who were taken advantage of under the effect of this plant. One man who was exposed to scopolamine powder helped thieves rob his own apartment; even helped them load the getaway van.
9. Spurge laurel
Spurge laurel is a woody mini shrub commonly found in ornamental gardens and public grounds which is closely related to the Bay leaf. Even though it doesn’t look particularly dangerous, this plant is one of the deadliest plants and leads to a horrifying death. It contains powerful biocides and can cause painful blisters and skin irritation if you handle it without protection. However, the real mess it makes is internal, wreaking complete havoc, major internal bleeding and organ failure after consuming just a few of its berries. It causes imminent death in just a few hours.
10. Death Camas
The Death Camas is a flowering plant, native throughout the United States and generally reaches several feet in height. The flowers grow as panicles – a cluster of flowers – that can resemble those of onions (Allium). To make matters worse, both have bulbs, which is unfortunate because the Death Camas are highly poisonous. The “Death Camas” can also be confused with “Common Camas”, but of a different family, which has historically been an important food source for northwestern Native Americans. All parts of the plants, from the leaves to the bulbs, contain zygacine, a steroidal toxin which if ingested results in rapid death. Ingested in the smallest amounts this plant leads to organ failure and blood disturbance, causing imminent death.