10 Reasons Why you Shouldn't Eat Those Berries

By Caileen  |  Tuesday, August 5, 2014  |  , , ,  |  Leave comment

Dear Readers:toxic plant identification

As you know, we spend a great deal of time talking about our friends: poison oak, poison ivy, & poison sumac (We have been in the oak-n-ivy business for over 50 years, folks!). Just kidding about them being our "friends" though, really. Anyway, did you know that in addition to poison oak, ivy, & sumac, that there are an abundance of other poisonous plants that could be lurking in the great outdoor spaces you frequently venture to? Until stumbling upon an article on lethal plants recently, I was completely oblivious! I mean, I knew about a few plants my parents had warned me about as a kid, the words: "Don't eat the berries off of a plant you don't recognize, Caileen" have stuck with me over the years! How many of these 10 lethal plants have you heard of?

  1. Deadly Nightshade (Atropa belladonna) - poisonous berries are not to be ingested, as it can cause seizures, blurred vision, loss of balance, headache, or even, death.
  2. Water Hemlock (Cicuta) - don't mistake this plant for parsnips, it can also be fatal if ingested.
  3. Wolf's bane (Aconitum) - this beautiful blue-flowering plant contains aconitine (a.k.a The Queen of Poisons), and it can cause a person's heart to stop.
  4. English Yew (Taxus baccata) - contains toxic taxine alkaloids that can cause death if ingested.
  5. White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) - this plant caused many to be sick, and several to die in the 1800's after drinking the milk of cows that had ingested this toxic plant.
  6. Dumbcane (Dieffenbachia) - one bite can cause your mouth to swell, and numbness to occur!
  7. Castor Seeds (Ricinus communis) - although surrounded by fun, funky red balls, the ricin content in one seed can be fatal. According to the 2007 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, castor oil plants are considered the most poisonous plants in the world.
  8. Angel's Trumpets (Brugmansia ) - These beautiful hanging flowers contain scopolamine. It has been rumored that thieves in Columbia make powder from the flowers, and blow it into victims' faces to put them into a trance while they make off with their valuables.
  9. Oleander (Nerium oleander) - ingestion can affect the gastrointestinal tract, the heart, and the central nervous system.
  10. Rosary Peas (Abrus precatorius) - this deadly plant has small, red beads, containing adrin, a substance even more lethal than ricin.

Whoa. If these lethal offerings aren't enough to send chills up your spine, I don't know what will! The morale of the story: if you are not familiar with a plant, DO NOT EAT IT. Just don't do it. Pack your own snacks and of course, carry your Tecnu just in case you run into the evil oak or ivy; now those plants, we can help you with!

Adventure on, my friends!

Reference article: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mattortile/10-lethal-plants-that-are-in-your-backyard-right-now

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