What fruit has poisonous seeds

The 10 most dangerous plants in the world

Some plants, no matter how inconspicuous, really have it all. We introduce you to the ten most dangerous plants in the world.

For gardeners, plants are among the most beautiful things on this planet - but not all of them are as lovely as they look. In fact, there are some that can be absolutely dangerous for humans due to their toxic ingredients. Sometimes just a few seeds or even the mere contact with these plants is enough to trigger health-threatening or even life-threatening poisoning.

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The most dangerous plants in the world

In the following, we will tell you which plants are among the most dangerous in the world and what to look out for when handling them.

10. yew tree

Robust, easy to care for and absolutely opaque - yew trees (Taxus) have been among the most popular hedge plants for decades and have a permanent place in many gardens. The yew tree is also extremely popular as a topiary or ornamental plant because of its attractive needles and attractive red colored berries. However, you should not eat the plant - almost all parts of the plant are highly toxic. The needles and seeds in particular, which are hidden in the red berries, contain the active ingredient taxine, which even in small amounts can lead to symptoms of poisoning. The first signs of yew poisoning are nausea, circulatory problems and headaches. From a dose of around 50 grams yew needles, seizures can occur, which can lead to death. Permanent liver and kidney damage are also possible from consuming the plant.

9. Diptame

With its pink flowers and herbaceous growth, the diptame (Dictamnus albus) already a great eye-catcher. But only when the plant shows its true potential, many do not believe their eyes. In fact, in summer the plant often surrounds itself with small blue flames that run up the flower panicle of the diptam and have given the plant the name "Burning Bush". The reason for this is the extremely flammable liquid isoprene, which is secreted by the plant. The plant is not damaged by this spectacle - but it can be dangerous for humans: the plant secretes phototoxic substances that sensitize human skin to sunlight. Similar to the giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) Contact with the plant and subsequent sunshine can lead to severe burns, some of which require a very lengthy healing process.

8. Paternoster pea

With its bright red colored berries, the paternoster pea (Abrus precatorius) a real eye-catcher. So it's no wonder that the strikingly colored seeds of the plant are traditionally processed into jewelry in many areas. However, this is not entirely harmless - just swallowing a single pea can be fatal. The seeds contain the highly toxic abrin, which can lead to colic, palpitations or organ failure. However, only eating unripe fruit is dangerous. It is believed that the resilient husk of peas does not release toxic abrin in the gastrointestinal tract as long as it is not chewed. Jewelry made from peas is also harmless if the chains are not sucked or chewed.

7. Australian nettle

Anyone who has ever heard of a nettle (Urtica) knows how painful it can be. The encounter with the Australian nettle (Dendrocnide moroides) end up. The intense itching and burning pain caused by the plant last for several days and in some cases several months. These symptoms are due to the stinging hairs known from nettles, which develop their effect when they come into contact with human skin. In the case of the Australian nettle, direct contact with the plant is not even necessary - since the stinging hairs continuously fall off the plant, symptoms can only occur when staying near the plant. Even clothing only helps to a limited extent against the annoying hair, as it can pierce through fiber-based textiles.

6. Black deadly nightshade

How close healing and poison are to one another is impressively demonstrated by the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna). As its Latin name "Belladonna" (beautiful lady) suggests, the plant was used in antiquity as a beauty product because of its pupil-enlarging effect, and in some cases it was also used as a medicinal plant. Even today, atropine, the active ingredient in deadly nightshade, is an important component of various drugs. However, if you eat the plant inexperienced, as little as 10 to 12 berries can be fatal for an adult. The symptoms of poisoning range from dry mouth and visual disturbances to hallucinations, palpitations or respiratory arrest.

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5. Spotted hemlock

Drink from a hemlock cup - history lovers have probably heard this term before, after all, the Greek philosopher Socrates is said to have died of the poisonous drink. Few, however, know that the native spotted hemlock (Conium maculatum) is behind this idiom. The biennial, herbaceous plant contains the poisonous active ingredient coniin and causes burning in the throat and mouth, nausea and disorders of the nervous system up to respiratory paralysis in people. Particularly dangerous is the risk of confusion with similar-looking, but edible umbelliferae such as meadow chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris). In Germany, however, the spotted hemlock is rarely found, as it has been systematically fought due to numerous deaths in farm animals.

4. Cerberus tree

With a height of 15 meters, its shiny foliage and the sweet-smelling flowers, the Cerberus tree (Cerbera odollam) a real beauty. But appearances are deceptive - even if the tree, which is native to the coasts of the Western Pacific, is often used as a street tree, it can be dangerous for people because its purple fruits are poisonous. The seeds of the tree in particular contain cardiac glycosides which, when consumed, cause nausea, gastrointestinal complaints and salivation. Furthermore, problems with the heart and breathing occur, whereby (without treatment) death occurs after about six hours. The Cerberus tree gained notoriety as the most widely used plant for suicide or murder, which is based on the fact that its poison works quickly and is difficult to detect. For this reason, it is also often referred to as the suicide tree.

3. Wonder tree

Castor oil is known to most as a remedy - it is all the more shocking that the miracle tree that goes with it (Ricinus communis), also known as "castor oil", is one of the most dangerous plants in the world. The seeds of the tree contain ricin, a poison that causes red blood cells to clump together and inhibits the body's own protein synthesis. Consuming two to four seeds can be fatal for an adult. The first signs of ricin poisoning are irritation of the mucous membranes, nausea and vomiting - an antidote is still unknown.

2. Monkshood

It is considered to be the most poisonous plant in Europe - the blue monkshood (Aconitum napellus) is a dangerous beauty. The flower is traditionally kept as an ornamental plant in cottage gardens, where it attracts everyone's attention with its intense blue color. However, the correct handling of the plant is essential so that there is no danger to its owner. Gloves should always be worn when handling monkshood, as even skin contact can cause slight symptoms of poisoning such as burning and paralysis. Swallowing parts of plants can lead to paralysis in the mouth area, nausea, dizziness, cardiac arrhythmias or even respiratory paralysis, which ultimately lead to death.

1. Manchinel tree

There is hardly a more insidious and dangerous plant than the manchinel tree (Hippomaniac mancinella). The plant, which in South America has the appropriate name "Manzanilla de la muerte" (Apple of Death), can be dangerous for humans in several ways. The tree's numerous, apple-like fruits are particularly tempting - unfortunately, they are absolutely poisonous and can have a deadly effect if consumed. Those who seek shelter under the Manchinel tree when it rains can also endanger their health. When it rains, the tree secretes milky sap from its leaves, which drips down and causes severe burns and blistering on the skin. And even if the tree is burned, it poses a danger to people, as it creates gases that can lead to blindness. It is not for nothing that the tree is often marked in its homeland with a red "X" on the trunk or a warning sign.

You can also find a list of other poisonous ornamental plants here.

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Frederike

I am a student of agricultural sciences and a real village child. At home I have a small vegetable garden that I tend and look after, and I prefer to spend the time outside. When I'm not outdoors, I love to write. My love is not only for plants and writing, but also especially for the animal world.
Favorite fruit: currants and raspberries.
Favorite vegetables: salsify, savoy cabbage and potatoes.