Deadly Plants You’d Better Stay Away From

Posted by Editorial Staff in Nature and Travel On 5th August 2017

If you’re going hiking, or plan on camping this year, you might want to read this list. Several of these plants you could even find in your back yard, or someone’s garden. You will not want to ingest any part of the plants on this list. They are all deadly! So watch out for these poisonous plants, and know how they could harm or even kill you.

#1 Buttercups

Buttercups are familiar wildflowers, favouring open waste ground and acidic soils throughout Nova Scotia, not to mention the middle of the back lawn. Their irritant qualities are probably the basis of the children’s game in which one child presses a buttercup to the sensitive skin just below the chin, “to see if you like butter.” The slight redness caused by such casual contact is supposed, in the game, to indicate a butter lover.

Prolonged contact can have more uncomfortable results. The breakdown of a glycoside releases a blister-inducing juice, found in many species while fresh.

Generally buttercups have yellow cup-like flowers and deeply divided leaves, which may or may not be fuzzy.


#2 Cowbane or Water Hemlock

The Water Hemlock is the most poisonous plant in North America. Even a small mouthful can kill an adult.

It can be found alongside the more common, non-poisonous, water parsnip along creeks and wetlands.

The whole plant is poisonous, but the root is the deadliest. Usually cows are poisoned when they pull out the plant and eat the root. One root is enough to kill a cow. If you have this plant on your pasture you need to get rid of it.

#3 Elder

Where it occurs: Temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia.

The most common members of this genus are red elder and black elder. All parts of the plant are toxic. If you as much as touch an elder, you’d better wash your hands. Ripe black elderberries, however, are completely safe and are used to make beverages and pies.

Why it is dangerous: Causes headache, weakness, abdominal pains, and, occasionally, seizures. Cardiac or respiratory failure are also possible.


#4 Oleander

This shrub or small tree is widely cultivated, and can be found anywhere. Every part of it is poisonous due to the naturally occurring toxins. Symptoms of the poison include tremors, seizures, and coma that can lead to death.

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