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While we think that trees, plants, and flowers are pretty to look at and really jazz up our yards or make any experience in the wild a beautiful one, some harbor a murderously dark secret. Some have the power to end us. Literally. There’s a handful of deadly plants out there that have the ability to burn you from the inside, blind you, torture you with endless pain, and end your life in minutes. Wow, Mother Nature can be brutal.

Manchineel Tree

Manchineel TreeFound in South and Central America, everything about this tree hates you. The fruits are poisonous, and it you touch the tree, sap, or leaves… or even breath the air near it, you’ll get sever burns. Just being close to it can make you suffocate and go blind.

Poison Oak and Poison Ivy

Poison IvyRubbing up against these plants can cause itching, boils, and skin irritations. In extreme cases, people have gotten blisters and rashes that have lead to scars. But it can also kill you. If you were to throw a pile of poison oak or ivy leaves onto a bonfire, the smoke could blister your throat and lungs from the inside. You could suffocate and die.

Rosary Pea

Rosary PeaThis is one of the most dangerous plants in nature. It got its name because jewelers used to use it to make rosary beads. The poison inside the peas—if a tiny amount gets into your bloodstream—could kill you instantly.

Giant Hogweed

Giant HogweedThis invasive species has toxic sap that will burn your skin. It gets even worse when you’re exposed to sunlight after touching this plant. If it gets into your eyes, it will blind you. But it the toxins get into your bloodstream, you suffer a quick and painful death.


OleanderThis beautiful but deadly plant will kill you if you eat it. The sap can also burn your skin if handled. While, if burned in a fire, the resulting smoke will first be intoxicating, but then chemically burn you from the inside out.


GympieAlso known as the Dendrocnide moroides, it is native to Australia and it is designed to kill. If you brush up against it, hundreds of venomous needles will prick you and leave you with a burning feeling. That burning not only can last for months but it can reoccur for the rest of your life. If not treated, you could die from it. Even breathing near it can lead to nosebleeds.

The Suicide Tree

Manchineel TreeNamed because people throughout history have used it to end their lives. Known as Cerbera odollam, it is a tropical tree found in India and other parts of southern Asia. When the seeds are ingested, you’ll experience stomach cramping, extreme diarrhea, and severe pain.  Then death.


MonkshoodTouching these beautiful yet delicate blue petals can you kill you without four hours. But eating them will do it quicker. It is also called wolfsbane or aconite, any of 100 or more species of showy, poisonous, perennial herbs of the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae). They occur in the north temperate zone, usually in partial shade and in rich soil.

White Snakeroot

White SnakerootHumans have figured out not to eat this one, but it has figure out how to still get to us. Via cows. This poisonous plant doesn’t harm the cows, so they eat it along with other grasses. In the 1800s, the poison found its way into the cow’s milk and killed thousands (Abraham Lincoln’s mom was one of them).

Black Cherry Trees

Black Cherry TreeWhen a cherry tree gets a disease or suffers from severe drought, chemical reaction in the tree produce cyanide. When it shows up in the leaves and fruit, people who ingest it become severely ill and die. The species is widespread and common in North America and South America. Black cherry is a leading cause of livestock illness.


HemlockThis is the plant that killed Socrates. When ingested, it causes an excruciating death. Birds love the seeds, and some wild game (pheasant and turkey) can have their meat poisoned by it. Also, the smoke from burning the leaves is dangerous.

Castor Beans

Castor BeanThough the processed beans produce Castor oil, the beans themselves contain Ricin, which is a poison. Ingesting Ricin can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. Since this plant is commonly used as ornamental bushes, many kids and pets have died as a result of eating it.

Deadly Nightshade

Deadly NightshadeFound in Europe and Asia, members of the Nightshade family contain atropine and scopolamine in their stems, leaves, berries (which taste sweet) and roots. Eating them causes paralysis in the involuntary muscles of the body (heart and lungs). Physical contact with the leaves will cause a skin irritation.

Deadly Plants

It is always a good idea to stay informed about the plants in your neighborhood, yard, and local forest. When you are traveling through a new area, pay special attention to the plants around you, and never eat any foliage until you know exactly what it is.

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