Poison in Nature


Lia Biggs, Staff Writer

Plants are beautiful, but their looks can be deceiving at times too, as possibly known by people who may have had the misfortune of interacting with poisonous plants in nature. There are many plants in nature that people have to be careful about and may need to avoid. A few examples of these plants would be Foxgloves, different species of nightshade, such as jimsonweed and bitter nightshade, mistletoe, and oleander. Plants such as these have many poisonous properties that may cause death or put you in a fatal condition.

The flower foxgloves are bell-shaped flowers that are often bright purple, white, yellow, or pink. Foxgloves are poisonous plants that can be very dangerous. The flowers are commonly planted due to how they look. It blooms in the spring and it can be found throughout the US. Foxgloves also have fruit with many seeds. Kids also eat these seeds sometimes, but every part of the flower is poisonous and has the ability to slow or disrupt your heart. Foxgloves cannot just be seen as a pretty flower that attracts people, but it is also dangerous flower.

Nightshade on the other hand is a family of flowering plants. Nightshade, although poisonous, still has been used to make herbal medicines. Nightshade is in a way known for the berries that are often associated with a nightshade flower. One type of nightshade with these berries would be a belladonna. Belladonna has little blackberries that could probably be confused with blueberries. Belladonnas are still extremely poisonous, and they are not only known as belladonna but also as deadly nightshade. All parts of the flower are poisonous and can cause a rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, delirium, vomiting, hallucinations, and sometimes even death because of respiratory failure. 

Another type of nightshade is jimsonweed. Jimsonweed has thick stems that may grow 4 feet tall, as well as leaves that can grow up to 3 inches long. The flower is white and is a trumpet-shaped flower. The poison can be found in all parts of the plant. Poison from the plant can especially be found in the leaves and seeds of the flower. This flower can make you nauseous, thirsty, and feverish. It also weakens your pulse, and raises your heart rate. There comes a point where it’s possible that you might even forget where you are, the flower also has hallucinogenic properties. The flowers that may be in the nightshade family are dangerous and if eaten call 9-1-1.

Mistletoe, the flower that is often mentioned during Christmas times for the saying “kiss under the mistletoe,” is actually a poisonous parasite. Although it may be hard to understand why mistletoe is considered a parasite, it’s because it lives off of other trees and shrubs. The leaves of a mistletoe often stay green pretty much all year, they have little berries that can be either red or white. The berries contain a singular seed that has a sticky and poisonous pulp. The berries on a mistletoe can give you diarrhea, it can also slow or stop your heart, causing death. Mistletoe, although a big thing around Christmas, is still a poisonous plant.

Another poisonous flower is oleander. Oleander is more of a tall shrub with flowers, but the flowers themselves are poisonous. The flowers are in clusters and their color can vary from red and pink to white. All parts of the plant are very poisonous and it is a very dangerous plant. Just one leaf from the flower is enough to kill an adult. Some symptoms of the poison from oleander are that you may have serious stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, dilated pupils, dizziness, breathing problems, and sometimes even death. 

Plants can be amazing but at the same time deceiving. As long as you’re careful, it’s not likely that you will be poisoned by a plant such as these.