When it comes to flowers, looks can be deceiving. No matter how harmless (or beautiful!) they may look, remember never to judge a book by its cover. From mild to just plain deadly, Here is a list of 10 flowers to watch out for.
1: Angel’s Trumpets (Scientific Name: Brugmansia)
Don’t let the name fool you, because they are anything but angelic! The angel’s trumpet is a poisonous flower to humans and animals, causing symptoms ranging from hallucinations to memory loss. All parts of this flower are considered poisonous and contain alkaloids, atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine. Though these have been found excellent in medicine, the use of these parts are deadly without doctor supervision.
Native to South America, this flower resembles a trumpet and the color ranges from white, yellow, pink, and orange or red. They can also reach up to 50 cm in length. People describe the scent as exotic and intoxicating, carrying notes of citrus, gardenia, and more.
You can get poisoned by touching, inhaling, or eating any parts of this gorgeous yet dangerous flower.
- Oleander (Scientific Name: Nerium)
Oleanders are common ornamental evergreen shrubs, known since ancient Greece and Rome, described by author Plinius. It is the only species currently classified in the genus Nerium and they carry large, attractive clusters of vibrant blooms. They have the ability to withstand drought and salt spray, making them highly desirable flowering plants.
However, they also contain cardiac glycosides, which are poisonous. You don’t even have to digest the bloom to experience toxic effects. Just touching them (particularly the sap inside the plant), can cause disorientation and seizures. As long as you or your pets don’t come in contact with oleanders, they can be used as a shrub or hedge to add a vibrant pop of color to your front lawn.
- Snake’s Head Fritillary (Scientific Name: Fritillaria Meleagris)
Snake’s head fritillary is a eurasian species of flowering plant in the family liliaceae. Other common names include the lazarus bell, checkered lily, and frog-cup. This flower has a unique checkered pattern on drooping petals that are shaped like a bell. It comes in shades of purple, though sometimes white.
The button shaped bulb contains poisonous alkaloids, earning the flower its association with venomous snakes. It thrives in damp soil environments.
- Star Of Bethlehem (Scientific Name:Ornithogalum)
The star of bethlehem is native mostly to southern europe and southern africa. It’s an exotic flower that produces white clusters in the spring with narrow green leaves, whitish midrib and onion-like bulbs. Over the holidays, it can be seen in many Christmas floral arrangements. This flower is often used in religious arrangements, symbolizing hope, purity, honesty, and forgiveness. The flower petals open with the sun each morning and close at night.
All parts of this flower are poisonous to both humans and animals. It is not to be confused with wild onion. The toxic principal appears to be similar to alkaloids, though not definitely identified. Using the star of bethlehem for medicinal purposes is deemed unsafe due to its toxic content.
- Belladonna (Scientific Name: Atropa Belladonna)
Also known as deadly nightshade, the belladonna is a toxic perennial herbaceous plant in the nightshade family solanaceae. It is native to europe, north africa, and western asia.
The flower’s name comes from the Italian word “belladonna,” which means beautiful woman, in reference to venetian ladies who dilated their eyes using belladonna eye drops, which was considered to be the height of beauty. However this came at a cost, causing increased heart rate and permanent vision distortion or blindness from prolonged use.
Belladonna is derived from deadly nightshade, one of the most dangerous herbal poisons. All parts of this flower are toxic, and oral overdose of this flower is only 600 milligrams. Effects of digestion from any parts of the flower could be deadly, and the leaves also could irritate the skin.
Why Are Some Flowers Poisonous?
Plant toxicity is due to a wide diversity of toxins, including alkaloids and glycosides. Plants produce poison as defense against predators. These toxic chemicals destroy insects, fungi, and bacteria.
Knowing which flowers are poisonous for the safety of yourself and others is important. While flowers are desired by many, some are for looking at, not for contact.