More than once this winter, you’ve likely had the pleasure
Plants are amazing — they help feed us, they provide oxygen, they beautify our world. Unfortunately, some can kill us, and dying by plant is no great pleasure at all.
The belladonna plant, also known as deadly nightshade, has extraordinarily poisonous leaves and berries. While the toxins within the plant are used in certain types of medicine, you don’t want to harvest any belladonna for your own personal use — they resemble blueberries, but are definitely not — because it can cause hardcore hallucinations, delirium, convulsions and death.
The rosary pea features a gorgeous little red seed that has been used as decoration in rosaries, as jewelry or in certain instruments. The main problem? They’re incredibly toxic, as they contain a substance called abrin, which is fatal.
Oleander plants are common garden inhabitants, but they’re one of the most poisonous common plants you can stick in the ground. They’re gorgeous, but they can be deadly. Even though death from oleander ingestion isn’t common, you still don’t want your kids munching on them.
These plants are pretty weird looking to begin with (are they cool, or are they creepy?), and they don’t look that delectable. That may be their only saving grace, as doll’s eyes (also known as white baneberry) can stop your heart and kill you.
The word “hemlock” has an classic, foreboding sound about it, doesn’t it? That’s because some species of hemlock are highly poisonous plants that contain a toxin called cicutoxin, which can cause seizures, respiratory failure and death.
Castor oil plant
The castor oil plant gives a clue to its toxicity with its scientific name — Ricinus communis. The genus, Ricinus, might remind you of a poison called ricin, which has been used in a number of high-profile cases involving poisoning, some of which were successful. Fortunately, you have to make an effort to die by the castor oil plant. If you don’t have any ricin handy, you’ll need to chew and eat several raw castor oil beans, something most people won’t do.
Angel’s trumpets are gorgeous and feature pendulous flowers that are truly eye-catching, but basically all parts of the plant are super bad for you. Ingestion of the plant can lead to severe hallucinations, diarrhea, tachycardia, and of course, death.