Many plants, trees and flowers on Earth are harmless and beautiful. But there are a few poisonous and deadly plants that can lead to sickness and worse, death. Many of the plants are alluring and the victims are unfortunately usually animals or children. We've created a list for 5 of the deadliest plants on Earth.
1. Water Hemlock (Cicuta)
Commonly found in North America and considered it's most poisonous plant Water Hemlock or poison parsnip contains high levels of cicutoxin which can lead to seizures. A plant that looks this pretty and is very poisonous is the more dangerous than others; it has a tempting quality that would lead many to pick it for a bouquet. The roots have the highest concentration of poison especially during the spring. It's needless to say, stay away from this plant.
2. English Yew
This next plant can be found in Europe, North Africa and South West Asia. The poisonous seeds are protected by a red, berry like capsule which is the only part of the plant that is not poisonous. The poison inside the seeds is called taxanes and can induce muscle tremors, convulsion and breathing difficulties.
3. Doll's Eyes
Dolls Eyes also known as White Baneberry are a berry native to North America. The whole plant is in fact extremely toxic but it is actually the juices inside that are the most dangerous. The juices have a sweet taste and have a reputation with enticing children. Even if the juices are sweet, these don't look appealing in any way, they are just like real dolls eyes - creepy.
4. Rosary Pea
Just like the name suggests, these little plants are used to make rosary necklaces and have had a history of poisoning the women who make them. The outer shell is harmless but if it is peeled or pierced they become dangerous and it contains abrin which is a similar poison to ricin but 75 times stronger. This plant is native to Indonesia but has grown around the world.
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia
Belladonna or its common name, Devils Berries is commonly found in Europe, North Africa and West Asia. This plant contains Tropane alkaloids which causes hallucinations and delirium. Even though the whole plant is poisonous the highest concentration of poison is in the leaves. In the Elizabethan era people would use this for vanity's sake; using the liquid as an eye drop they would put it into their eyes to dilute the pupils giving them a more attractive, dreamier appearance.
By Fay Partridge
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Fay Partridge is an Online Media Intern for Frontier, a non-profit conservation NGO that helps people plan their gap year with over 300 opportunities to volunteer abroad and take part in adventure travel across the globe.