Trees and plants, that is plant life is the only source of oxygen without which life would not exist on earth. Basically, if human and animal life is surviving in this world, it is because of plant life. But, even plants can pose serious threat to human and animal life. There are many plants on this planet which are poisonous and the consumption of which may cause serious health risk including death to human and animal life. A list of the seven most lethal poisonous plants in the world is created here for your information.
1. Nerium oleander
Nerium oleander is an evergreen garden plant that is considered to be the most poisonous among all other plants usually grown in gardens. This shrub is venomous in all its parts. The flowers of this bush grow in bunches in white, red or pink color and are mostly fragrant. These plants are used for decorating or ornamental purpose in gardens, parks, etc., because of the pretty look and sweet aroma of its flowers. The mention of this shrub has been found in ancient texts and folklore as a therapeutic plant used to treat various ailments. A lot of clinical research on the medicinal aspect of this plant has been done. Any human or animal poisoned by this plant would need immediate medical attention to prevent any serious damage.
2. Water hemlock
Water hemlock is a highly toxic plant and considered very dangerous for human kind. These plants gain a height of up to 2.5 meters. The small green or white flowers of this plant grow in a close arrangement which resembles an umbrella. The plant is poisonous in all parts and during all growth stages. But, the root of the plant seems to be the most toxic and poisonous part of the plant which becomes more toxic during early spring. The consumption of water hemlock directly affects the central nervous system of human beings and can cause death.
3. Rosary Pea
Rosary Pea, also known as Crab’s eye, Jequirity, John Crow Bead, Indian Licorice, Akar Saga, Giddee Giddee, etc., is a perennial climbing plant that grows twining around other trees, plants, hedges and bushes. The seeds of this plant are used as beads as well as in percussion instruments. This plant contains a toxin named abrin that is strongly poisonous. Less than three micrograms of this toxin can be fatal. However, this plant has been used for medication purpose for hundreds of years in Siddha Medicine. A tea made of the leaves of this plant can cure fever, cough and cold.
4. Deadly Nightshade
Also known as Belladonna, Devil’s Berries and Death Cherries, Deadly Nightshade is a very dangerous toxic plant. The bush and the berries that it produces contain fatally dangerous toxins. This plant, however, has been used in the past as medicine and cosmetic apart from being used as poison. The plant can grow at a maximum height of 1.5 meters. The flowers of this plant are bell-shaped and tyrian purple color with traces of green and have very soft fragrance. The berries are initially green but grow into shiny black sweet tasting ones once ripe. Consumption of 2-5 berries for children and 10-20 for adults can be life threatening whereas a single leaf of the plant can be fatal for an adult.
5. Castor oil plant
Castor oil is used for various purposes across the world and the same seed that castor oil is extracted from is toxic in nature. Castor oil plant or Ricinus Communis is a flowery plant mostly grown for decorating or ornamental purpose. The seeds grow in thorny capsule like fruits of green to reddish purple hues. The seeds are large in size, oval shaped, shiny, bean-like with a range of brownish spots in them. These seeds are highly poisonous and affect the central nervous system. High volume of consumption of these seeds may be fatal. This plant was named the most poisonous plant in the world in the 2007 edition of Guinness Book of World Records.
Cocklebur are herbaceous plants that grow to a height of 1.5 to 4 ft. These plants start flowering in the late summer or winter. Though, they also bloom flowers in the tropical regions where the day length remains same and doesn’t change. These plants mostly pose threat to livestock. Some of the domestic animals do avoid eating this plant when other food or fodder is available but certain animals like pigs do not discriminate and eat this to fall sick and die. The seeds and seedlings of these plants are the most poisonous ones.
Veratrum, also known as False hellebores or corn lilies, is a perennial shrub that is very poisonous by nature. Though the entire plant is poisonous but the root and rhizome are the most dangerous and poisonous parts of the plant. The consumption of Veratrum can lead to fast cardiac failure resulting in death. But, this plant too has many medicinal usage and benefits. Currently this plant is being used to produce many life-saving medicines.