Our world is covered with plants, many of which are very strange in how they look, smell or grow. Some plants are not just strange, they are scary too. Here we look at some of the weird and truly terrifying plants that are known to carry potent poisons that can kill at a touch or a taste.
Used in ancient Greece as a form of execution, hemlock's most famous victim was the philosopher Socrates. Ingesting even a small amount of the root, seeds or leaves can kill by paralysing muscles from the feet upwards. Water hemlock can look like parsnip when pulled from the ground and can kill a cow in fifteen minutes due to the over-stimulation of the central nervous system causing respiratory, heart and kidney failure.
The Suicide Tree
This species of tree belongs to the same family as Oleander, and is also quite toxic to humans. The seeds of the Suicide Tree can lead to an irregular heart beat that is often fatal if the toxin is ingested in high enough quantities. It is known as the suicide tree as getting someone to ingest the poison in the tree is not difficult as its flavor can be disguised by spices when served in food. The toxin is also notorious for being overlooked as a cause of death in autopsies.
A popular decorative shrub is what makes this one of the most terrifying plants since the leaves, flowers, and fruit of the oleander all contain chemicals that may cause a heart attack when eaten. They can be used therapeutically, but only when dispensed by a professional.
Castor Oil Plant
This plant is the current holder of the Guinness Book of World Records title for world's most poisonous plant. The seeds contain ricin. If you eat 4 to 8 seeds you are likely to die within 5 days if you’re left untreated.
The Manchineel tree is colloqually known as the ‘little apple of death’. The white sap it produces will cause your skin to blister, even if the sap falls from the tree with the rain. Eating the fruit will lead to seizures and other complications that can kill.
So potent, that if you eat the meat or drink the milk of a cow that has ingested white snakeroot, you will become severely ill or even die. In the early nineteenth century it was commonly known as "milk sickness" and it is estimated to be responsible for thousands of deaths at the time.
With very large, hanging, trumpet-shaped flowers that give this plant it’s name, you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s actually named for the trumpeting angels that will herald your arrival in the afterlife. This is because eating the plant is often fatal.
Cells in the leaves of the dumbcane plant hold microscopic needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate, which if chewed cause severe irritation in the month. In rare cases, irritation becomes so severe that the tongue, mouth, and throat are so swollen that the airways are blocked, leading to asphixiation.
Rosary Pea (aka Jequirity and Crab's Eye)
Native to Indonesia, this plant has vibrant black, red and white beads that are often used in the region's percussion instruments. But the seeds are also highly poisonous, containing a chemical called abrin which is similar to the ricin found in castor seeds. The abrin content of just one seed is said to be fatal to humans.
In Bud Floral Designs has been established since 1999. After humble beginnings in Oatley West, we moved to the beachside suburb of Cronulla in Sydneys south. At the Cronulla store we are constantly growing and evolving to bring our cutomers the highest quality of products and service.
Beth Godbolt leads a team of experienced and talented florists who all bring a love of flowers and creativity to everything that they do. In the store you can always find unique and unusual pieces that have been sourced fresh from Sydney's Flemington Markets. Beth loves the idea of something that is highly unusual and sometimes even a little odd becoming part of beautiful arrangements. The store and the flowers are a constantly evolving story, everytime a customer comes into the store they find something new and different.
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