Tuesday, October 11, 2016

3 Deadliest Plants!

Halloween is drawing near! Ghouls, vampires and werewolves aren’t the scariest things lurking about this halloween, plants can be equally terrifying and deadly. In honor of Halloween, check out our top 3 favorite deadly plants.

1. White Snake Root (Argeratina Altissima)
Copyright: Ohio State, http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/

Don’t let this herb’s pretty little white flowers lead you astray, White Snake Root is the North American plant responsible for killing Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks. It contains a toxic alcohol known as trematol. While you can die by eating the plant, this plant’s poison is so far reaching you can get sick and potentially die just by drinking milk from a cow that munched on it. But don’t worry, today’s farmers ensure that White Snake Root doesn’t grow in today’s grazing pastures.

2. Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna)
Copyright: NC State University, https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/

As if the name was enough of an indicator, it was deadly nightshade that Macbeth’s soldiers used to poison the the invading Dance. Deadly Nightshade has a sweet taste but is lethal to consumption due to atropine and scopolamine in its foliage and roots. Even if you simply brush against Deadly Nightshade, skin irritation can occur. You can find this plant lurking about Central and Southern Eurasia.  

3. Poison Hemlock (Conium Maculatum)
Copyright: Ohio University, http://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weedguide/

Deadly Nightshade wasn’t the only infamous plant in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Poison Hemlock was the nasty monster that killed Macbeth. Poison Hemlock can be found across the United States. It’s toxic compounds are coniine, piperidine alkaloids and g-coniceine.

Want to learn more about deadly plants? Check out this YouTube video by BEYOND SCIENCE called “6 Truly Terrifying Plants You Wish Didn’t Exist”.