How To Recognise Poisonous Plants

March 26, 2015

How can something so beautiful cause so much damage to both humans and pets?   Some children have died as a result of eating the fruit that looked so attractive.  After a spate of kids and pets being poisoned or even dying last year, familiarisation with poisonous plants is a must.

In this article, we will look at some plants that have  high doses of toxins.  Humans and pets are at risk and  that some can kill you in a matter of hours. In a lot cases, many pets have a  higher resistance to the poison than humans, take a look at the top 10 poisonous plants that can all kill humans.


White snake root, also known as White Sanicle or Tall Boneset, is a highly poisonous plant, native to North America. Their flowers are white and, after blooming, small fluffy seeds blow away with the wind. This plant has a high % of the toxin tremetol, which is not known for killing humans directly, but indirectly. When the plant is eaten by cattle, the toxin is absorbed into their milk and meat. When humans then, in turn, eat the beef or drink the milk, the toxin enters the body and causes something called milk sickness, which is highly fatal. Thousands of ignorant European settlers died from milk sickness in America in the early 19th century. It is also believed that Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks, died from milk sickness.

Actaea Pachypoda Older Seed Pods

Doll’s eye, also known as White Baneberry, is a flowering plant native to Eastern and Northern North America. The Doll’s eyes comes from the striking fruit of the plant, which is a 1cm in diameter white berry with a black stigma scar, which looks very eye like. Although the whole plant has been declared toxic for human consumption, the most poisonous part is the concentrated toxins in the fruit, which have sadly claimed a number of children’s lives, as they also have a sweet taste. The berries contain a carcinogenic toxin, which has an almost immediate, sedative effect on human cardiac muscles and can easily cause a quick death.   Continue reading…

Scary reading right?  Over the years, people have learned through sometimes terrible experiences which plants are fine to eat and which must be avoided. In our ever changing world, a lot of that historical knowledge has been forgotten. Too many gardeners may be shocked to realise that they are nurturing some of the world’s deadliest plants in their own backyards.

Pets at risk from poisonous plants 



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