One of the naturally beautiful things that we humans have been blessed with is flowers. These plants have the power to convey feelings and emotions like love, pride and even lust. They can brighten someone's day or even bring hope- and they do these things while looking good. But as the saying goes, "all that glitters is not gold." Such is the truth for quite a few of these wondrous blooms.
To explain our somewhat veiled statement, some flowers are extremely dangerous to the health of not only animals but that of humans as well. Some have the ability to paralyze, cause cardiac maladies and even death, and you need to know which ones they are. And that's exactly what we're going to test you on today. Do you have the know-how to identify some of the most poisonous plants on this planet just by looking at a picture? We're about to find out.
We know that dogs should stay away from azaleas and delphiniums, cats from chrysanthemums and amaryllis flowers, and humans should stay extremely far from oleander and the rosary pea. But saying the name is completely different than identifying the flower. Take this quiz and show us that you know how to be safe in your garden and in the wild.
Arum maculatum, which is commonly known as the arum lily, is a woodland plant species which can be found across Europe and Turkey. The plant should always be handled with care as all parts of it are known to cause an allergic reaction in people.
Aconitum, also known as aconite and wolf’s bane, is a genus of over 200 species of flowering plants native to the Northern Hemisphere. Many of the species are highly poisonous, and with large enough doses, it can be fatal.
Lobelia is a genus of flowering plants which consists of more than 400 species of plants found in tropical to temperate regions around the world. Some members of the genus are considered to be poisonous. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting.
Yarrow is a flowering plant which is native to the Northern Hemisphere but can be found in places like New Zealand where it is used to feed livestock. There have been cases where the plant causes severe skin rashes and increases sensitivity to light.
Plumeria, sometimes called frangipani, is a genus of flowering plants which can be found in Mexico, the Caribbean and some South American countries. Typically grown as ornamental flowers, they contain a milky latex compound which is known to irritate the eyes and skin.
White snakeroot, also called richweed, is a perennial plant which is native to eastern and central North America. It contains a toxin called tremetol which, when consumed by cattle, is passed on to the milk and meat and can cause vomiting and intestinal pain if ingested.
Nerium oleander is a flowering shrub which has been called the most commonly grown garden plant. It has a few compounds which exhibit toxicity to humans as well as other animals. They are shown to affect the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and central nervous systems.
Digitalis, more commonly referred to as foxgloves, is a genus of approximately 20 species of perennial plants which are native to different parts of Europe. Although it is used in many medications, eating too much of this plant can cause vomiting, seizures and even death.
Nightshade is a family of flowering plants which are important as medicinal and agricultural crops. Many of the plants contain highly toxic alkaloids and can cause a wide variety of symptoms across many different organ systems. In rare cases, it can cause death.
Lily of the valley, also called Mary’s tears, is a sweet-scented flowering plant which is native to cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere. All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause symptoms, including skin rashes, vomiting, abdominal pain and blurred vision.
Yellow bells, also called yellow elder, is a perennial flowering shrub which can be found growing all across the Americas. Typically kept as an ornamental flower, bees which use this plant to make honey also becomes poisonous.
The Angel’s trumpet is a genus of fragrant flowering plants which have been listed as extinct in the wild. These ornamental plants are poisonous, especially the seeds and the leaves. Ingestion of any of the parts can lead to migraine headaches, auditory hallucinations and rapid onset cycloplegia, which is the paralysis of a muscle in the eyes.
Bloodroot, which is sometimes called the Canada puccoon, is a flowering plant which is native to North America. They are known for producing an alkaloid which blocks one of the transmembrane proteins which can destroy tissue when touched and cause loss of consciousness.
Irises are a genus containing more than 250 species of flowering plants which can be found growing in gardens all around the world. The rhizomes of the plants can be toxic causing nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and skin irritation.
The mountain laurel, also referred to as the spoonwood, is an evergreen shrub which can be found from Maine to Miami. The state flower of Pennsylvania and Connecticut, it is poisonous to animals as well as humans and can cause symptoms ranging from vomiting to death.
The Autumn crocus, which is sometimes called the meadow saffron, is an autumn-blooming flowering plant which is widely used as an ornamental plant. They contain a compound called colchicum which can be fatal if ingested.
Calla lilies, also called water-arum, are flowering plants which are native to cool regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Because of its high level of oxalic acid, the plant is very poisonous and causes an intense burning sensation, swelling of the throat and stomach pain.
Tulips are a genus of spring-blooming brightly-colored flowers which can be found growing on almost every continent. While they are not poisonous to humans, if they are ingested by cats and dogs, they cause nausea, difficulty breathing and vomiting.
Delphinium, commonly called Larkspur, is a genus of 300 species of flowering plants which are native to regions of the Northern Hemisphere. All parts of the plant are toxic to humans, causing symptoms ranging from digestive discomfort to skin irritation.
Agave Americana, which is commonly known as the century plant, is a species of flowering plants which are native to Mexico and the southwestern states. It is used to create mezcal and aguamiel, but its sap can cause severe skin irritation and digestive problems if ingested.
The sweet pea is a climbing flowering plant which is native to parts of Italy. The scented flower grows in a variety of colors but the seeds of the plant are toxic. The symptoms from ingesting this plant are similar to copper deficiency.
Goldenseal, also called the yellow puccoon, is a perennial herb which can be found in parts of Canada and eastern U.S. states. Known to treat a variety of ailments and disorders, studies have shown that it has carcinogenic properties.
Morning glory is the common name of more than 1,000 species of flowering plants which come from the Convolvulaceae family. Eating the seeds is not dangerous but if they are eaten in large enough quantities, they can cause hallucination, nausea and diarrhea.
Pricklyburr, also called the recurved thorn-apple, is a species of flowering plants which can be found on almost every continent on the planet. All parts of the flower are said to contain dangerous levels of a toxin which may be fatal if ingested.
Anthurium, also called the flamingo flower or tailflower, is a genus of more than 1,000 species of flowering plants which are native to the Americas. It is a popular houseplant because it helps to remove many chemicals from household air but it is also poisonous because of its calcium oxalate crystals.
The opium flower, also called the breadseed poppy, is a flowering plant which can be seen growing in gardens across the world. It is used to create medicinal drugs like morphine and codeine, but some extracts found in teas and other quick concoctions have been shown to be toxic.
Naked lady, also called autumn crocus or meadow saffron, is an autumn-blooming flowering plant which belongs to the Colchicaceae family. Commonly cultivated as an ornamental flower, they are extremely poisonous and can cause death if ingested.
Crown vetch is a low-growing flowering vine which is native to Africa, Europe and Asia but is grown in many places to help with erosion control. It is very toxic to non-ruminant animals, including horses, and if consumed in large quantities, it can cause paralysis and death.
Hyacinth is a small genus of flowering plants which were native to eastern Mediterranean countries. The bulbs of the plants contain oxalic acid and can cause skin irritation if they are not handled carefully.
Wisteria is a genus of flowering woody vines which are native to China, Japan and Korea. Many of them are ornamental plants. The seeds, which are produced in pods, are poisonous and can cause symptoms ranging from dizziness to vomiting to diarrhea.
Lantana, sometimes called big-sage, is a species of flowering plants which are native to tropical regions of the Americas. It is very toxic to livestock, including cattle, sheep and horses. It is also toxic to dogs and can cause liver damage and photosensitivity if eaten.
The gloriosa lily, also called the flame lily, is a genus which contains 12 species of flowering plants native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia. All parts of the flower, especially the root, contain a compound called colchicine which some people use to commit suicide.
Poison hemlock is a hardy flowering plant which is native to North Africa and Europe. The plant is extremely poisonous and in just a short amount of time, the alkaloids in it are capable of causing neuromuscular blockage of many muscles, including those used for respiration.
The mole plant, often referred to as caper spurge, is a species of green-yellow flowering plants which are native to the southern European countries. All the parts of the plant are poisonous and handling can cause skin irritation.
Dogbane, also called Indian hemp, is a perennial plant which can be found growing throughout North America. All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause cardiac arrest in dogs as well as livestock.
Azaleas are spring-blooming flowering shrubs which can be found growing in a wide variety of colors all over the world. The azalea is a symbol of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. Despite being grown in many gardens, it is extremely toxic, including the honey made from its nectar.
The castor oil plant is a perennial flowering plant which belongs to the Ricinus species of plants and is indigenous to tropical regions of Africa, India and the Mediterranean Basin. The raw bean contains ricin and ingestion of four to eight beans can cause death. It can also cause nausea, tachycardia and seizures.
The bleeding heart is a species of flowering plants which are native to Siberia and other parts of Asia where it is referred to as the Asian bleeding heart. Typically seen growing in pink and white in different gardens, the plant is known to cause skin irritation in some people.
Pointsettia, also known as Christmas star, is a species of plants known for its red and green foliage and is widely used during the holiday season. Its toxicity level is fairly mild compared to other plants but it can cause irritation to the skin and stomach.
The Mexican prickly poppy is a species of poppy originally found in Mexico but that can be seen all over the world. Some of the seeds contain katkar oil which contains toxic alkaloids that can lead to extreme swelling of the legs.