There are approximately 350 thousand species of flowers classified and most of these are not harmful to man or animals. However, there are exceptions and appearances can be deceiving. Some of the beautiful and dazzling flowers that adorn nature can keep a dark side, which is intoxicating and can get sick or even kill anyone who dares to play with them. Check out these beautiful, but terribly dangerous flowers.
The Jacobaea vulgaris also known as Hierba de Santiago is a plant of great importance for the ecosystem in which it blooms. Many insects feed on it. Thanks to this, the presence of flowers is interesting for conservation societies. It is certainly good news for insects, but very bad for all other species. The World Health Organization confirmed the presence of at least eight toxic alkaloids in this plant. The problem is that, contrary to most poisons, which quickly leave the body, Jacobaea alkaloids accumulate over time. In this way, accumulated toxins result in cirrhosis. However, the toxicity is worsening the condition of the liver silently and, when the person starts with the symptomatology, it is already too late. Unfortunately, these toxins also affect the honey produced by the bees that visit the flowers of this species, as well as the milk of the goats that eat this flower.
Veratrum is generally grown for ornamental purposes. However, the beauty of this flower reaches there, as each piece of the plant is lethally toxic. The initial symptoms of Veratrum poisoning are violent stomach pains, which usually begin within 30 minutes of intake. Thanks to the toxins entering the bloodstream, they have a much shorter path to the sodium channels, which act as floodgates that allow sodium to flow through the nerves, causing a reaction. That results in convulsions and fast and slow heartbeat, which can result in a heart attack or a coma.
The intense blue, almost purple, that characterizes this beautiful garden flower could be the last color you saw in your life if you decided to ingest a certain amount of these flowers. Just a few drops of its root extract are enough to paralyze your heart muscles or your respiratory system in a few minutes. Due to its high toxicity, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) do not recommend its use for the treatment of any medical condition.
Kalmia latifolia, popularly known as mountain laurel, produces delicate white and pink flowers towards the end of spring, an endemic specimen of the United States. It is a beautiful flower, but below that fragile exterior are the entrails of a murderer. The two main toxins in this flower are grayanotoxin and arbutin, but the first is the really worrisome one. Grayanotoxin simultaneously causes an effect in which the heart beats dangerously quickly and also very slowly. The end result is a heart attack, but only if it is consumed in large quantities. In smaller doses, the toxins of the flower cause irregular breathing, excessive salivation, loss of motor coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness and convulsions. Worst of all, you don't even have to eat the flowers to go through all that, because the honey of the bees that visit Kalmia latifolia contain all the toxic properties of the flower.
Simply known as Sanguinaria, the Sanguinaria canadensis grows in eastern North America. Native Americans used to use it as an ornamental dye, but it was also used to cause abortions. A larger amount could lead the person to a coma. Recently, they began to use it indiscriminately as a home remedy for skin cancer, but the results were obviously terrible. The bloodthirsty contains a chemical called sanguinarine which, in addition to being a dangerous toxin, is a scarotic substance, that is, it has the capacity to produce corrosion of living tissues. Escarotic substances kill the tissue and break it like a jelly, leaving behind a black scar called a bedsore. In other words, placing an ointment made from these flowers causes the cells of the epidermis to literally kill themselves. The same happens inside. The component inhibits an enzyme that does a primary job of pumping sodium out of the cells and potassium inside. When that happens, all body functions stop. → May cause nausea, vomiting and stomach pain with burning. In high doses it is fatal.
Autumn crocus is one of the most poisonous and dangerous plants that people normally experience. It contains colchicine, a deadly substance that is used in doses suitable for medical purposes. Unlike other toxins found in plants, colchicine has no antidote. Poisoning by this plant leads to a critical drop in blood pressure and heart failure.
Just like daphne, the lily of the valley may seem beautiful and harmless, but it is also very poisonous. Of course, one or two flowers of this bell-shaped plant does not cause serious damage, especially in adults. But if the lily comes into contact with the body in large quantities, it can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, cramping and diarrhea. People with heart disease should take special care, since the toxins present in these lilies, slow the heartbeat and cause arrhythmia.
It is known as one of the most poisonous plants in the world, very common in southern India, where it has been used as a murder weapon for centuries. Numerous toxic substances are found in oleanders, including oleander and neriin that affects the nervous, digestive and cardiovascular system at the same time. Oleander poisoning is expressed as drowsiness, seizures, numbness. Very likely loss of life. The sap causes skin irritation and severe inflammation of the eye socket. It is a very poisonous plant and totally discouraged for particular use with very strong actions on the heart in small doses, for this reason its use must be subject to medical control.
In 2002, eight tourists who were in Argyll, Scotland, decided to feed on some roots of plants close to the place they were visiting. After collecting the plants, they returned to the place where they were staying and added their collection to a curry dish. The next day, four went to the hospital. What they thought was parsnips (a vegetable widely consumed in British regions) was really Oenanthe crocata. The consumption of this plant has a mortality rate of up to 70%. However, the small group of tourists was very lucky, because none of them died. In addition to being lethal, depending on the dose, this plant has a very interesting toxic property. The killer compound, called Enantotoxin relaxes the muscles around the lips and forces the intoxicated person to smile, even when in the midst of fatal seizures. According to historical records, the plant was used in Greece since the 8th century BC, when Homer coined the term "ironic smile" to describe the macabre smile that adorned the faces of the victims of this poison.
The seeds are very toxic, due to the presence of an albumin called ricin, since the ingestion of a few, chewed or swallowed, suffices, produces a picture of intense gastroenteritis with dehydration; It can severely damage the liver and kidney and even cause death. It is one of the most potent biological toxins known. A microgram of its poison, concentrated mainly in the seeds, would suffice to kill an adult.
The mezereón or matacabras is a shrub, which can reach a height of 1 to 1.5 meters, which is often grown for its beautiful and fragrant flowers. All parts of this plant are poisonous, and the highest concentration of the poison is contained in its juice and berries. Daphne contains mezerin and dafnin, two toxins that cause severe abdominal pain, headache, diarrhea, delirium and seizures. If Daphne berries are ingested, depending on the sensitivity and quantity the person can fall into a coma and even death.
In India, Cerbera odollam is known as a "suicide tree", since its flowers and seeds are highly toxic. It can become a lethal weapon in the wrong hands. In a span of 10 years, at least 500 deaths were confirmed in India, causing the ingestion of Cerbera, which kills thanks to the effect of a potent glycoside called cerberin. Cerberin begins to take effect after sixty minutes and the symptomatology can be referred to as a "kind death." After a slight pain in the stomach, the person goes into a coma and his heart stops beating. The whole process can occur in nothing more than three hours. It is considered the weapon of a perfect crime, as the chemical component becomes undetectable after poisoning. A team of researchers in India believes that up to twice as many people (of the number quoted above) may have died with this poisoning, in cases of homicide, where it was believed that it was a sudden death.
This gloomy flower "hates" sunlight and reaches heights close to one and a half meters. Besides that any of its parts is toxic for human consumption, when it blooms it gives off a rotting aroma that serves to attract flies and thus guarantee their pollination.
All rhododendrons contain a toxin called grayanotoxin in pollen and nectar, so honey derived from these plants is very poisonous. The rest of the plant is also poisonous, especially the leaves.
Originally from Africa, Adenium obesum has been used for centuries as a spear and arrow poison. The "desert rose", as it is called the toxic preparation, is boiled for 12 hours until all the extract is removed and the liquid evaporates. The resulting viscous substance is a highly concentrated poison. It is so toxic that an animal, being hit by a poisoned arrow, barely manages to flee a distance of two kilometers. That way, the hunters manage to reach them easily while the animals agonize. To give you an idea, this plant has been used by the tribes of Africa to kill large animals such as elephants. The plant has a chemical called ouabain, which causes almost immediate respiratory failure at high doses. If you are able to bring down such large animals, imagine what you can do with a human.
Known as one of the most poisonous plants in the western hemisphere, belladonna contains life-threatening alkaloids called tropans. All components of this plant are harmful, but its beautiful fruits are the most dangerous, especially for children. The symptoms of belladonna poisoning poisoning are pupil dilation, blurred vision, headaches, hallucinations, delirium and seizures. Atropine, a toxin that is contained in belladonna, can be fatal to humans, since it blocks the ability of the nervous system to control the regulation of breathing and sweating, in addition to causing cardiac arrest.
This plant lives up to its strange name and embodies something truly sinister. The toxins that Brugmansia contains can be deadly to humans and many animals. Brugmansia is known as a strong hallucinogen that cannot be used as a medicine, because the risk of overdose is high. Brugmansia plants contain a variable number of tropanov alkaloids such as atropine and scopolamine. It is known that the plant is used in shamanic rituals of the western Amazonian tribes.
One of the most beautiful and poisonous flowers is the Foxglove, which by the way also has one of the most attractive scientific names. Eating one of these flowers will not only cause diarrhea, vomiting and oral pain, it will also cause cardiac arrhythmias in your body.