Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Dangerous Deadliest Plants On Earth 

1Giant Pitcher Plant-Nepenthes Attenboroughii

Discovered more than 5000 feet above sea level on Mount Victoria in the Philippines, 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's 30-centimeter diameter is large enough to trap unlucky rodents, but insects are its most common meal. 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. 


This bright red delicious looking moonseed plant is normally found in the Eastern North America and south-central Canada. It crops up in brushes, damp forests, and the shores of streams. It is called ‘moonseed’ as the seed within the berry looks like a crescent moon. The whole outlook of this plant is pretty tempting. And its fruit is often mistaken by people as ripe and luscious looking wild grapes or even baby cherries. And even though birds can eat them, this fruit and its seeds are extremely fatal to humans. The initial effect of it is paralysis, and that too if consumed in a smaller quantity. A larger dose literally kills you. The reason why it is so deadly is the amount of toxin alkaloid in it. But that is not all. The entire plant is actually poisonous.

3-Aconitum Napellus

Stewart was once asked what the best plant would be to murder a dinner guest with--after much deliberation she landed on monkshood. "You could just chop up the roots and make a stew," she says. "You don't need a chemistry plant to do it." The vibrant purple plant, commonly found in backyard gardens, is loaded with the poisonous alkaloid aconite, which tends to cause asphyxiation. While Stewart is certainly joking about cooking up a batch of monkshood stew, she urges anyone who has the plant in their garden to wear gloves when handling it. 
4-Devil Berries

How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew. Not all nightshade plants are poisonous, since the name itself is pretty mystifying and give the sound of gloom. But this breed of the nightshade called the ‘devil’s berries’ or the ‘deathly cherries’ are perhaps the deadliest plant on earth today. They are commonly found in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. This shrubbery plant and its berries are tremendously toxic, and contain atropine alkaloids. These poisons include scopolamine and hyoscyamine which cause a peculiar disorientation and phantasm. The berries look so attractive and sweet that people and animals are often attracted to them, especially since they contain a rather sweet taste. In older times, they were even used in wars where these berries were attached to the tips of arrows to kill the enemies. Intake of a sole leaf of the plant can be lethal to an adult.

5-Dionaea muscipula

With the ability to clamp shut in a half-second, the Venus flytrap's reaction time seems fit for the animal kingdom. Insects need to touch two of the flytrap's hairs consecutively in order for the plant to react, but the precise mechanism that shuts the trap remains unclear. The Botanical Society of America notes that early theories suggested that a sudden change in the water pressure of cells triggered the response, but this theory has since been abandoned. It now seems that when the plant is touched, the electrical potential of the leaf is altered, triggering a host of cellular-level events.


The droopy, gorgeous angel trumpet, native to regions of South America, packs a powerful punch of toxins, containing atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine. As documented in the 2007 VBS.tv documentary "Colombian Devil's Breath," criminals in Colombia have extracted scopolamine from the plant and used it as a potent 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. The documentary is filled with scopolamine-related horror stories, including one account of a man moving all of his possessions out of his apartment (and into the hands of his robbers) without remembering any of it. 

7-Castor Bean 

Castor-bean plants can be purchased at just about any garden center, despite containing the deadly poison ricin. Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants and poisonous plant expert, has an affinity for the plant and grows several in her poison garden. Concerned gardeners can simply pluck the seeds off the plant, Stewart says, which is where the ricin is stored. Though the process to extract enough ricin and process it into a weapon is complex, Las Vegas authorities have discovered the toxin in a hotel room in February 2008, and the KGB used it to permanently silence opposition. 

8-Nerium Oleander

This plant is definitely beautiful and it is one that people will often choose to have in their backyards or even their front yards as a decoration. But for anyone with kids or pets, this is one plant you definitely want to stay away from. This plant is actually responsible for more deaths than any other poisonous plant on this or any list. In 2002 it was responsible for nearly 850 deaths in the U.S. alone many of which were young children. The reason for this is that while it may take a handful of leaves to kill an adult, it only takes one leaf to kill a young child. In India this plant is a popular method of suicide and there are even cases were people have tried to commit murder by using the oleander plant. The method of death? Severe digestive upset, heart trouble and contact dermatitis.

9-Utricularia Macrorhiza

This aquatic meat eater relies on several submerged bladders to capture prey such as tadpoles and small crustaceans. An unsuspecting passerby will brush against an external bristle-trigger, causing the bladders to  spring open and capture it. Once inside, the victim dies of suffocation or starvation and then decays into a liquid that is sucked up by cells on the walls of the bladder. 

10-Western Water Hemlock

Like most of the plants on this list, this is one plant you really don’t want to eat. This plant contains a toxin which affects the central nervous system. This poison causes seizures which leads to loss of consciousness and violent muscle contracts and eventually death. This is not to be confused with poison hemlock which killed Socrates, instead the Water Hemlock paralyzes the nervous system.


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