Ever heard of ‘cute killers’? Let’s get acquainted with them now. They might look as pretty as a picture but some of these beautiful products of nature are best when avoided. Over millions of years, these plants have devised some insidious ways to wend off potential threats. Not just deadly neurotoxin thorns capable of puncturing car tyres, some of these cutest progeny of nature are capable of transforming ‘normal’ humans into ‘living zombies’. Bizarre…ain’t it? It’s as if those stunning and deadliest flowers have been planning something murderous behind your back and waiting just to cause you harm. So Beware! Otherwise these vivacious flowers will snuff out your life as surely as a venomous snake.
10. Deadliest Flowers: Daphne
Noted for its scented flowers and poisonous berries, this plant is mainly used for ornamentation purposes. Native to Asia, Europe and North America, Daphne is well-known for its lethal properties. While its flowers might look very beguiling when planted in a sweet little basket, consumption of even 2 or 3 berries of this sweet-yet-deadly plant can prove fatal even for an adult human being. Ingestion of any part of this plant can surely cause burning sensation in the mouth and the intestinal tract followed by coma and (in some cases) even death. But we do not go about eating any bizarre object out there, do we? Even if you do, make sure you don’t try this one.
9. Deadliest Flowers: Ageratina Altissima (aka White Snakeroot)
Infamously responsible for the death of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, White Snakeroot – a seemingly innocuous plant- is known to kill humans indirectly. The plant contains the toxin tremetol, so, when the plants are consumed by livestock, the milk and meat of such cattle become tainted with this toxin. The poisoning is called ‘milk sickness’ and can also be lethal.
8. Deadliest Flowers: Cicuta (aka Water Hemlock)
Cicuta, belonging to the same family of plants as the Hemlock – the plant that infamously killed Socrates- has been termed as ‘one of North America’s most toxic plants’. Cicutoxin is the major poison in Cicuta. While the plant itself might appear to be like drops of snow on a thick growth of grass it has an omnipresence of toxic substances. Cicutoxin- though present in all parts of the plant – is mainly concentrated in its roots. Intoxication has also been reported following skin contact with the plant. The symptoms of poisoning caused by the plant includes vomiting, increases the body temperature, decreases the pH level of the blood, blood coagulation, swelling in the brain etc.
7. Deadliest Flowers: Atropa Belladona (aka Deadly Nightshade)
The poisonous properties of Deadly Nightshade have been known for generations. History has it that Macbeth’s soldiers poisoned the invading Danes with wine made from the sweet fruit of this plant. Deadly Nightshade is a perfect embodiment of a dagger dipped in honey. It’s enticing berries have been successful in attracting small children and unwitting adults who mistake belladona berries as blue berries. Even a physical contact with the leaves of this plant may cause various types of skin related problems. The commonplace names for this plant- devil’s berries, naughty man’s cherries, beautiful death, devil’s herbs- can actually function as a list of adjectives to describe it. While the entire plant is toxic, it is the roots of this plant that are believed to be extremely toxic .The plant contains atropine, hyoscine and hyoscyamine which when consumed can cause dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, loss of balance, urinary retention, hallucinations and convulsions.
6. Deadliest Flowers: Nerium Oleander
A beautiful plant with striking flowers, this is perhaps one of the most dangerous on this list. This fact is somewhat weird when we consider how often this plant is used as a typical ornamental plant. Found almost anywhere in the United States, this is perhaps the most lethal garden plant till date. While its OK to gaze at this plant with loving and wondering eyes, don’t come to the chewing bit. Any kind of external contact with the plant can cause skin irritations, severe eye inflammation and irritation. Oleander contains cardiac glycosides, which if taken in large doses can be extremely lethal. Ingestion of this plant can cause nausea, vomiting, excess salivation, abdominal pain, diarrhea etc. So, people Beware!
5. Deadliest Flowers: Convallaria Majalis (aka Lily of the Valley)
The beautiful bell-shaped flowers of the plant might remind you of your fun-filled last years Christmas time but, unlike the spirit of Christmas, this plant does not believe in the motto of ‘let live’. The plant always had an ulterior motive. A sweetly scented but highly poisonous woodland flowering plant, it produces red berries which most often are successful in enticing small children.All parts of this plant including the berries are highly poisonous as the plant contains saponins and roughly 38 different types of cardiac glycosides.
4. Deadliest Flowers: Colchicum Autumnal (aka Autumn Crocus)
Also known as autumn crocus, meadow saffron or naked lady, Colchicum Autumnal is the only species of its genus native to the United Kingdom. While these plants growing in your school backyard may appear enticing, think twice before you approach them. Autumn crocus is actually deadly poisonous due to their Colchicine content. The symptoms of Colchicine poisoning resemble those of arsenic and no antidote is known. Do you still need any other reason to stay the hell away from them?
3. Deadliest Flowers: Aconitum (aka Wolfsbane)
Also known as Monkshood and Devil’s Helmet this perennial plant is believed to be hell’s gift to Earth. The plant is infamous for its poisonous properties since the time of the ancient Greeks. It finds mention in Ovid’s Metamorphoses which attributes the genesis of this plant to the slavering mouth of Cerberus, the three-headed dog that guarded the gates of Hell. If ingested even in small quantities, it may cause gastrointestinal complications, a sensation of burning, tingling and numbness in the mouth and face. If taken in large doses, it can cause instantaneous death. Only 20ml of pseudaconitine is needed to kill an adult human. The plant derives its name from the mythology that it was thought to keep away werewolves, hence wolfsbane.
2. Deadliest Flowers: Datura(aka Moonflowers)
Also known as Moonflowers, Daturas ironically have nothing to do with the pleasing, romantic moon. Yes, they are awe-inspiring but only because of the fact that it sometimes is very difficult to comprehend the mysterious ways of nature. The beautiful snow-white flowers of this plant however enticing are in fact a perfect murder weapon. Go ahead and cuddle them but only if you want to give an open invitation to your death. Native to the United States and Mexico, Datura belongs to the classic ‘Witches’ Weed’ and has a long history of use for causing delirious states and death. Most part of the plants are toxic. The plant has a notorious history of being used as a murder weapon. It is precisely because of these reasons that it is illegal to buy, sell or sow this plant in certain regions.
1. Deadliest Flowers: Brugmansia (aka Angel’s Trumpets)
This plant which belongs to the family of Solanaceae is one of the deadliest product of nature till date. We might be moved by the beautiful shades and shapes of its flowers and their sweet smell but it appears that its sweet appearance belies a lethal effect. Native to the tropical regions of South America, Angel’s Trumpets of death contains a cornucopia of powerful toxins such as Atropine, Hyoscyamine and Scopolamine which are at best avoided. Ingestion of leaves, seeds or stem of Angel’s Trumpets can cause nausea, diarrhea, paralysis, migrane and hallucinations. Drugs obtained from this plant can turn humans into ‘living zombies’ and can leave the victim completely unaware of what they are doing but entirely conscious! They might appear to be the kind perfectly suited to ornament your living rooms with but, in that case, they will surely herald your journey into the other world.