If rhododendron is ingested, its toxins confuse, low blood pressure, and possibly death. This is due to a chemical called grayanotoxins. It’s said this chemical is a natural deterrent against insects, however, it also has harmful effects on humans. It’s referred to as “mad honey” because the Romans in the first century B.C.E. were allegedly poisoned with its honey. After they were poisoned, they were so confused they lost their battles. Typically, poisoning occurs when ingesting large amounts of the plant (Royal Botanic Gardens).
Interestingly enough, tobacco is poisonous, even if it’s the most commonly used plant in the entire world. But just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s safe. It’s easy to grow tobacco in your backyard, and chances are, your heavily smoking neighbors might grow the plant. It’s known as a cardiac poison that’s also damaging to your lungs, brain, and teeth. This is probably the most poisonous plant on this list. It kills more than 5 million people every single year, which is why it’s the most poisonous. It doesn’t cause immediate fatalities like the other plants on this list, the damage from tobacco is slow-burning, exactly how you smoke it (Britannica).
Yellow dock is incredibly toxic to dogs, but they’re also toxic to humans. It’s quite easy to recognize the yellow dock, as the head of the plant looks like coffee grounds and is brown. Don’t mistake this plant for coffee, though, because it won’t give you that caffeinated effect you’re looking for. People who ingest the plant will suffer from mild poisoning that shows as gastrointestinal disturbances, like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and cramps. If someone ingests a large amount of the plant, it may prove fatal (Picture This AI).
All parts of the white baneberry plant are toxic. We’ll give you a little hint, too. If you ever see the word “bane” in a plant’s name, it’s likely toxic. In large quantities, the berries will cause cardiac arrest or respiratory distress, stomach cramps, and dizziness in anyone who ingests them. Typically, baneberries are red, but sometimes, you’ll come across this white-berried species in your backyard. They always say, never to eat a random berry from a bush. You never know if it’s poisonous or not (Wild Adirondacks).
This plant is called bloodroot for a good reason. Its name should be enough to deter you from getting anywhere near it. Even merely touching the plant can cause skin irritation or scabbing, due to the destruction of the tissues. If taken in large enough doses by accident, it’s incredibly toxic and even fatal to humans and pets. This is due to the alkaloids found throughout the plant, which affect the nervous system. This causes vomiting and eventually coma and death if not treated in time. Interestingly enough, many Native groups use bloodroot as a die, because of its bright red, vibrant coloring (Cornell Botanical Gardens).
You’re likely familiar with poison ivy and its toxic effects on humans. It’s even more likely you have tons of poison ivy in your backyard. With one brush of poison ivy on your skin, you’ll experience intense redness, swelling, and itching on the skin, which is caused by a resin called urushiol. And don’t be fooled by believing you’re safe if you burn the plant, because if you inhale the smoke, it may affect your breathing. If you find poison ivy in your backyard, it’s recommended you use a spray to get rid of it completely (Best Life Online).
The yew plant is found all over the world and has a rocky history. Ancient cultures referred to this plant as the “tree of death,” because it may cause cardiac arrhythmia if ingested. It will completely stop your heart and cause death. Animals are very susceptible, and if they ingest yew, they’ll die within 24 to 48 hours. Its poison comes from its highly toxic alkaloids, which are found in high concentrations of the leaves in wintertime (Mount Sinai).
The name says it all. The deadly nightshade is deadly and is one of the most poisonous plants in the world. This is due to the alkaloids found in its berries, roots, stems, and leaves. Not only is ingesting it poisonous, which may cause death if ten to twenty berries are ingested by an adult but even rubbing against it irritates the skin. If ingested, other symptoms include enlarged pupils, dry mouth, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, slowed breathing, delirium, and paralysis (Best Life Online).
Stay far away from the angel’s trumpet, even if its name sounds inviting. It has bugle-shaped flowers and is very beautiful to look at, but incredibly toxic if ingested. If accidentally ingested, users will experience difficulty swallowing, thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations, loss of consciousness, and eventually, delerium. Even the perfume alone is enough to cause a negative reaction, which includes headaches, nausea, and lightheadedness (Sharp).
People often grow tansy for its golden, bright, vibrant flowers, and by looking at this photograph, you can probably see why. It’s symbolic of summertime and happiness. Even though tansy has previously been historically used for flavoring, it contains a toxic essential oil that may kill a human. If it doesn’t kill you, it will cause liver and brain damage, and at the very least, an allergic reaction to those who touch the flower. There’s a reason we don’t recommend growing these beautiful flowers in your backyard. The risk isn’t worth the reward (Growveg).
Rhubarb pie might be your favorite dessert in the world, but there’s only a small amount of rhubarb that can be used. Ingesting large amounts of this plant’s leaves can kill you. It’ll cause nausea, difficulty breathing, and kidney stones. This is due to the deadly oxalic acid, which will eventually cause kidney failure. Luckily, you’ll need to consume 12 pounds of rhubarb to get sick, which is very unlikely to happen. You can safely put the rhubarb leaves in your compost, though, because oxalic acid isn’t absorbed by the leaves (Taste Of Home).