10. The Rosary PeaThe Rosary Pea, also often planted as a decorative addition to gardens, is actually one of the world's most dangerous plants, The bright red berries hold seeds, which all contain a poison called abrin, so toxic that, if swallowed or chewed will result in almost immediate death.
One of the most lethal known poisons, Abrin causes severe vomiting, high fever, drooling, highly elevated levels of nervous tension, liver failure, bladder failure, bleeding from the eyes and convulsive seizures.
This decorative plant is truly deadly.
If allowed to come into contact with the skin, croton oil causes blistering and painful skin irritation which can last up to three weeks.
When taken internally, croton oil produces burning pain in the mouth and stomach, bloody diarrhea, violent purging, tachycardia, coma, and death.
The first signs of monkshood poisoning appear almost immediately. They include burning and tingling; numbness of the tongue, throat, and face; followed by nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, prickly skin, paralysis of the respiratory system, gradual loss of vision, low blood pressure, slow and weak pulse, chest pain, giddiness, sweating, and convulsions.
As the poison gradually spreads, the body temperature will gradually drop, producing a pronounced feeling of cold.
At the end, severe pain occurs, associated with the paralysis of facial muscles. Breathing is at first rapid, then slow, and finally there is respiratory arrest.
Slow paralysis of the heart muscle causes death.
Death can occur as quickly as ten minutes after initial contact to a few hours.
6. Castor Bean
In the food industry, castor oil (food grade) is used in food additives, flavorings, candy (e.g., chocolate), as a mold inhibitor, and in packaging.
It takes only two beans, well chewed, to be fatal to an adult.
It is grown in many North American gardens for ornamental purposes.
Effects and Symptoms: Burning in mouth, nausea, vomiting, cramps, drowsiness, cyanosis, stupor, circulatory collapse, blood in urine, convulsions, coma, and death; the toxic agent causes hemolysis (breaking up) of red blood cells even at extreme dilution, severe hemorrhaging results.
5. Belladonna (Atwpa belladonna)
During the Renaissance period, women applied an extract of the belladonna plant to their eyes to dilate their pupils and give a wide-eyed, beautiful appearance. Botox of the 1200's
All parts of this plant are deadly, especially its roots, leaves, and berries. The toxin paralyzes the parasympathetic nervous system.
While this is a highly toxic plant, it also has its benefits.
The medical alkaloids atropine, scopolamine, hyoscyamine, hyoscine, and belladonna also come from this plant. Atropine and various synthetic substances also stimulate the central nervous system.
4. Water Hemlock (Cicuta douglasii)
3. Angel Trumpet (Brugmansia)
Criminals in Colombia have extracted scopolamine from the plant and used it as a drug that leaves victims unaware of what they are doing but entirely conscious. Scopolamine can be absorbed through the skin and mucous membranes, allowing criminals to simply blow the powder in a person's face.
2. Giant Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes attenboroughii)
The giant, carnivorous pitcher plant secretes a nectar-like substance to lure unsuspecting prey into a pool of enzymes and acid. A series of sticky, downward ribs makes it nearly impossible for trapped prey to escape. The plant is large enough to eat rats. Pitcher plants, of which there are about 600 different species, tend to grow in nitrogen-deficient environments, and therefore get their nutrients from decaying victims.
The giant pitcher plant inspired stories of man-eating plants, but to date no such plant has been proven.
1. The Three Poisons
The toxin causes an allergic skin rash on contact. Some people (30%) do not react to the toxin.
If ingested, poison ivy can produce severe gastrointestinal effects. Some individuals, however, can consume poison ivy without effect.
So dispite the fact that they all have poison in the name, they are the least deadly -- but deadly they can be.