Plants clean the air, give out oxygen, provide food, enhance the indoor environment, and bring us closer to the nature. Among the myriad species of plants, many have medicinal properties with incredible healing power, while a few have poisonous elements which can take lives. Plants are classified as poisonous because they result in drastic reactions when people are exposed to them. Right from small allergies, upset stomach aches, to fatal stroke and death, these poisonous plants can have unpredictable reactions. With adequate information and practical knowledge, we can avoid the callous attacks of such deadly plants.
The autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) also known as meadow saffron or naked lady, flowers in the autumn. The plant has a fair amount of colchicine, which makes it poisonous. There is no antidote on colchicine poisoning.
Usually seen around river beds, bottom lands and marshy areas, this 10 foot tall shrub is an annual plant. Its attractive colorful seeds contain the poisonous 'ricin'. Consumption of a measly three-four seeds can cause the death of an adult. The symptoms on consumption of the same are vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and nausea.
This 4-feet tall plant, which is herbaceous perennial, comes to life in September. Its beautiful purple color and lush green stems attracts children. By September, it acquires tiny, shiny, black berries which are insanely sweet but equally poisonous. The consumption of this deadly plant causes confusion, hallucination, rapid heartbeats, and seizures.
The plant is popularly known as devil's trumpet, thorn-apple, and loco weed. It derives its name from its trumpet shaped ivory colored flowers. Its flowers also bloom in white and pale violet. This annual herb grows up to seven feet, with all its parts being poisonous. The most poisonous part of this plant are its seeds. These seeds when eaten cause hallucinations, fast pulse rate, and confusion.
These shrubs are evergreen which bear light weight poisonous red berries, with an extremely sweet taste. Even the consumption of a few berries can cause gastric disorders, irregular heartbeat, or even heart failure.
It is a rampantly growing plant across North America. Usually seen in mountainous regions, its leaves have three leaflets which may or may not be hairless. A poisonous plant, even to touch, it causes severe inflammation of skin or dermatitis.
Belonging to the lily family and commonly known as hyacinths, these grow in marshy areas. The water hyacinths grow over large water areas forming a green carpet, which stretches over miles. The bulbs of this plant are poisonous and cause salivation, vomiting, nasal irritation, and stomach cramps when exposed to humans.
A large shrub growing in the rainforests of North Eastern Australia, is famous for its stinging hair which covers the entire plant. When touched, they inject a potent toxin through the skin. Their sting sends a painful current through the body which can last for a couple of days to a few months. The sting can kill humans, dogs, horses, and cats.
Lethal consequences of poisonous plants can be prevented by a little awareness. Just as the plant kingdom has the power to give us the cure for many maladies, it has the same deadly power to take our lives.