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Top 23 World Deadliest and Poisonous Flowers

Flowers are good sources of ornamental plants making the garden beautiful but behind those glorious facade lies a poison. Poisonous flowers could be deadly when ingested accidentally both dangerous to humans and animals.

Flowers are very pretty sight to behold with marvelous colorful and enchanting fragrance. Many flowers have bewitching beauty but behind those magnificence and innocence charm lays a secret that need to be retold. Anyone who adores flowers could just touch or even snap them out without knowing they have poison.

1. Aconitum – also known as aconite, monkhood, wolsbane, leopard’s bane, women’s bane, Devil's helmet or blue rocket contains Nepalese poison with high content of alkaloid. The Minaro , Chinese as well as Japanese Ainu tribes used poison arrow both for hunting and for warfare. The purified aconitine caused paralyses of he numbs, nerves resulted in anaesthetic effect in the skin. The plants taken internally may result in slow pulse, heart palpitations, blood pressure falls as the heart may beat much faster than normally with extreme irregularity.

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2. Milkweeds- also known as Asclepias produces contain toxic such as alkaloids, latex, and cardenolides which is toxic to animals. South America and Africa natives used arrows poison with glycosides to fight and hunt more effectively. The milky sap when ingested by animals may cause death, mild dermatitis. Milkweed sap is also externally as a natural remedy for poison ivy .

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3. Atropa belladonna or deadly nightshade – Ingestion of berries both by adult and children may causes delirium and hallucinations. Ingestion of 10 to 20 berries and a single leaf of the plant can be fatal. Symptoms of poisoning includes dilated pupils, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, slow or fast pulse, loss of balance, staggering, headache, rash, flushing, dry mouth, slurred speech, urinary retention, constipation, confusion, as well as convulsions.

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4.. Bloodroot – also known as Sanguinaria Canadensis, bloodwort, red puccoon root, pauson and tetterwort in America and Greater Celandine in Britain. The plant contains toxic substances such as morphine like benzylisoquinoline alkaloids and the toxin sanguinarine which destroy cells resulting in scabs in skin exposed to the plant substances.

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5. Scotch Broom/Cytisus scoparius –commonly known as English Broom in Britain and Ireland is a perennial, leguminous shrub native to western and central Europe. The toxic substance of Cytisus scoparius contains alkaloids and that depress the heart and nervous system.

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6. Blue cohosh or Caulophyllum thalictroide- also known as squaw root was used as a medicinal herb by American Indians and as a dietary supplement that can induce labor, regulate menstrual flow, suppress menstruation, and ease the pain and difficulty that accompany childbirth. It also used as abortifacient and for contraceptive purposes.

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7. Datura –also known as witches' weeds. Most parts of the plants contain toxic hallucinogens which could causes delirium and death. Also famous as an essential ingredient of love potions and witches' brews.

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8. Delphinium or Larkspur -All parts of the plant contains alkaloid delphinine toxins causes vomiting and death both in humans and animals. It has cardiotoxic and neuromuscular blocking effects. It is eaten by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Dot Moth and Small Angle Shades.

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9. Apocynum- also known as Dogbane and Indian hemp contains cymarin, a cardiogenic toxin that causes cardiac arrhythmia in humans also used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Mouse Moth. Native Americans used it as source of fibers as well as herbal tea in China.

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10. Duranta erecta - is considered as ornamental invasive species of plants from Australia, China, South Africa and on several Pacific Islands. Also known as Golden Dewdrop, Pigeon Berry, Skyflower and Aussie Gold. The leaves, barks and berries could cause death to children including dogs and cats. However, songbirds eat the fruit without ill effects.

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11. Baptisia australis- commonly known as Blue Wild Indigo or Blue False Indigo is an herbaceous perennial in the pea family. The Cherokees used it as a source of blue dye, a practice later copied by European settlers. The roots could be used as teas, purgative or to treat tooth aches and nausea. The plants could be used as antiseptic, anti-catarrhal, febrifuge, and stimulant purgative. Baptisia is considered toxic and should not be taken when pregnant.

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12. Digitalis- also known as foxgloves, Dead Man’s Bells, and Witches’ Gloves contain deadly toxic of cardiac and steroidal glycosides. The entire plant including the roots, leaves and seed are toxic particularly the upper stem when nibble being cause death both in humans and animals. Early symptoms of ingestion includes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, convulsions, wild hallucinations, delirium and severe headache. In severe cases it may causes bradycardia and tachycardia, tremors, various cerebral disturbances, visual disturbances.

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13. Grevillea –also known as Spider Flower, Silky-oak and Toothbrush. Drinking nectar direct from the flower is best avoided as some commonly cultivated Grevillea species produce flowers containing toxic cyanide.

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14. Henbane - also known as stinking nightshade or black henbane has psychoactive properties causing visual hallucinations, dilated pupils, restlessness, flushed skin, vomiting, slow and fast pulse, hyperpyrexia and ataxia. Henbane could be toxic and fatal both to humans and animals in low doses.

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15. Lily of the valley or Convallaria majalis – also known as the lily of the valley and Mary’s. All parts including the berries are highly poisonous containing 38 different cardiac glycosides.

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16. Brugmansia –also known as Angel's Trumpetsand contain dangerous levels of poison and may be fatal if ingested both by humans, animals, including livestock and pets. Contact with the eyes can cause pupil dilatation known as mydriasis resulting in unequal pupil size.

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17. Euphorbia lathyris – also known as Caper Spurge, Paper Spurge, Gopher Spurge, Gopher Plant or Mole Plan. All parts of the plant including the seeds and roots are poisonous. The latex from plants causes skin irritation while Livestock including goats are immune to the toxin. The toxin can be passed through the goat's milk.

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18. Nerium oleander –also known as Oleander contains deadly toxic compounds of oleandrin and neriine toxins found in the sap. Ingestion of the plants substances in children and adults including animals such as a handful or 10-20 leaves consumed in adult cause an adverse reaction and a single leaf could be lethal to an infant or child. Symptoms include severe digestive upset, heart trouble, contact dermatitis and in severe cases death.

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19. Opium – also known as poppy tears, lachryma papaveris contains toxic substances known as morphine and opiate alkaloid. The latex from plants caused respiratory difficulties, coma, cardiac or respiratory collapse with a normal lethal dose of 120 to 250 mg found in approximately two grams of opium. Regular use can lead to drug tolerance or physical dependence.

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20. Conium – also known as Hemlock or Poison Hemlock could cause respiratory collapse and death by blocking the neuromuscular junction resulting in muscular paralysis of the respiratory muscles due to lack of oxygen to the heart .Ingestion of more than 100 mg of 6 to 8 fresh leaves or a smaller dose of the seeds or root may be fatal. The philosopher Socrates after being condemned to death for impiety in 399 BC was given a potent infusion of the hemlock plant.

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21. Pokeweeds - also known as poke, pokebush, pokeberry, pokeroot, polk salad, polk salat, polk sallet, inkberry contains poisonous substances such as phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin may caused itching, vomiting, dyspnea, perspiration, spasms, severe purging, prostration, tremors, watery diarrhea and convulsions. In severe cases causes weakness, excessive yawning, slowed breathing, fast heartbeat, dizziness, seizures, coma and death.

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22. Rhododendron –contains toxic substances such as grayanotoxin in their pollen and the nectar from honey made by bees feeding on rhododendron and azalea flowers cause illnesses to humans as well as animals dying within few hours after ingestion.The symptoms causes hallucinogenic and laxative effect .

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23. Yellow Jasmine or Gelsemium sempervirens- All parts of this plant contains toxic strychnine related to alkaloids gelsemine and gelseminine. Subtances found in the sap may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals. Children mistaking this flower for honeysuckle have been poisoned by sucking the nectar from the flower.The nectar is also toxic to honeybees.

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Comments (9)

Well-written and informative article with excellent photos. Enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.

Such an extensive list of poisonous plants. This is a good reference.

A very well researched work, stumbled.

Voted and stumbled - great job.

thanks guys for all your lovely comments :-)

This is a well written factoid whichI found useful and enjoyed reading. Thanks.

great guide on poisonous plants

Good grief. All those beautiful flowers doing so much damage. What a great article.

Nice pictures, I guess looks can be deceiving...but this is good to know. Thanks for sharing valuable information. Voted up!

Very informative article on the sometimes deadly affects these flowers can have.

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