If you’re a florist, gardener, or anyone else who considers flora one of their passions, you may want to read something else. While most plants are harmless, adding splashes of color to our planet and doing their best to mask the stench of dog mess, there are other species with a more sinister profile. Here are a few which may turn you immediately into an indoorsy person.
1. Buttercups
Let’s start with the biggest surprise. If you ever used these little flowers to affirm that you liked butter as a child, you may have noticed a faint red rash. According to The Poison Garden, this is the result of a potent toxin, which has been related to gastrointestinal problems in livestock, and if eaten enough, can lead to death through organ and nervous system toxicity.
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2. Giant Hogweed
The Giant Hogweed is a horrifying specimen. The stem secrets a sap which, on contact with skin, reacts with sunlight, turning it into a corrosive acid. This substance can eat through skin and tissues, causing necrosis and leaving massive, stomach-churning lesions on the skin, which according to the New York DEC occasionally last for years on end. Reconsider the shorts.
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3. Death Camas
The Camas is found all over the forests of western North America, and are easily identified by their bright purple flowers. While one subspecies grows a nutritious bulb, the other is extremely dangerous. Kind of obvious with the name Toxicoscordion Venenosum. The only thing differentiating the plants is a slight difference in the flower’s color, and Nature’s Poisons says eating the tiniest amounts can lead to a swift death through organ failure. If you’re considering Camas for your vegetable patch, ask a lot of questions at the garden center.
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4. Red Tide Algae
Red Tide Algae is a highly neurotoxic seaweed, which multiplies during sudden changes in heat. Beaches have been covered with dead fish as a result of Red Tide, and it is thought to be the inspiration for the Biblical first plague of Egypt. Information from the National Ocean Service tells us this terrifying plant has been reported across the world, so always keep an eye on the water if you’re at the beach.
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5. Angel Trumpet
I saved the worst for last. Angel Trumpet isn’t too scary as a plant, despite containing dangerous toxins, but gets its terrifying reputation from a psychoactive drug synthesized from the plant, called Scopolamine. In Columbia, this substance has become central to the most low-risk racket in the history of organized crime. Reportedly, you only need to be in the same room as scopolamine to start feeling the effects. Medicine Net explains that once intoxicated, people become extremely suggestible, and have been known to empty their bank accounts, load their possessions into vans, and even commit murder with a big, oblivious smile on their face. If you’re planning a holiday to Columbia anytime soon, be very, very careful who you party with.
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