Killer Plants – 10 Dangerous Plants in the U.S.
Here at Shoplet, it’s no surprise that we love trees and all things green. Most plants are essential to our health and well-being because they produce oxygen, a vital ingredient in making clean air. Plus vegetables are an essential part of our diet, providing us with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to keep our digestive system in check. Unfortunately, there is vegetation out there that is poisonous and even deadly for consumption! This list features dangerous plants more commonly found here in the U.S., so hopefully you won’t come in contact with these bad boys anytime soon!
1) Aconitum (Aconite, Monkshood, Wolf’s Bane, Devil’s Helmet)
The Aconitum is commonly found in mountainous areas in the Northern Hemisphere. Its poisonous feature was used as a weapon (poison-tipped arrows) for hunters in previous generations. The plant contains aconitine neurotoxins and cardiotoxins which can lead to motor weakness, heart and lung paralysis, and other complications.
2) Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna)
The Deadly Nightshade is an herbaceous plant native in Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, and some parts of Canada and the U.S. This plant draws in consumption because it bears sweet shiny black berries (similar to the size of a cherry). Yet consumption of any part of the plant can cause muscular paralysis and heart failure. Physical contact may even cause irritation to one’s skin.
3) Jimson Weed (Datura Stramonium)
The Jimson Weed is commonly found amongst roadsides, in pastures, fields, and waste areas. Consumption of this plant can cause hallucinogenic effects and other symptoms such as abnormal thirst, vison distortions, and incoherence.
4) Poison Hemlock (Conium Maculatum)
Poison Hemlock grows throughout the U.S., commonly around irrigation ditches and other moist places. It is often mistaken as wild parsnips because it sprouts similar small white flowers. Ingesting around 6-8 leaves or a piece of the root can cause muscular paralysis, ultimately resulting in death.
5) Water Hemlock (Cicuta Maculata)
Water Hemlock, closely related to Poison Hemlock, is heavily infused with deadly cicutoxin, causing more severe pain. The chemical is concentrated in the roots and when ingested can cause over stimulation to the central nervous system, resulting in abdominal pain, respiratory impairment, kidney failure, heart problems, seizures, and death. While the plants looks very similar to the Poison Hemlock, one physical characteristic difference is the leaf size- the Water Hemlock has slighter larger leaves.
6) Manchineel (Hippomane Mancinella)
The Machineel tree is a native plant found in tropical areas. The name comes from the Spanish word ‘manzanilla’ meaning “Little Apple” because the plant bears fruit that closely resembles an apple tree. As safe as it looks, this tree is one of the most poisonous plants. If any skin comes in contact with the tree’s sap, it may start to blister. The violent toxins in the plant can ignite strong allergic reactions to anyone who comes in contact with the tree.
7) Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron Vernix)
The Posion Sumac is a small tree or woody shrub that can grow almost up to 30ft tall. It is often found in swampy soils and contains the chemical, urushiol, which can cause skin irritation. Burning the part of the plant will ignite a cloud of smoky pain causing fatal respiratory damage.
8) Daphne (Daphne Mezereum)
The Daphne shrub is commonly used as an ornamental piece, commonly found in gardens throughout the U.S. All parts of this plant, especially the bark, sap, and berries contain toxins. The mezerein acid in the plant can cause severe skin irritation and swallowing a berry can cause other painful symptoms, like burning of the mouth, diarrhea, delirium, and upset stomach. Worst cases, consumption of plant can lead to a coma or death. The plant has different stages when in full bloom.
9) Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia)
The Dumb Cane is a tropical plant that is often placed in households as a decorative piece. The whole plant is covered with microscopic needle-shaped calcium crystals that can cause pain to the mouth and throat when chewed or consumed. In severe cases, there is often excessive drooling and swelling of the tongue and throat, which can lead to strangulation.
10) Oleander (Nerium Oleander)
The Oleander shrub is commonly used as a decorative plant, commonly found in parks, schools, and backyards. The leaves, flower, and fruit all contain a chemical known as cardiac glycosides. It is only meant to look pretty- eating it however will guarantee to put you in a cardiac arrest.