5 Poisonous Plants every Writer Should Know About!

slide1Happy Halloween!  Here’s a post that fits the theme!

I have always been obsessed with poisonous and venomous thing.  Quick explanation: If you bite it, and you die, it’s poisonous.  If it bites you, and you die, it’s venomous.  Venom must be injected through a wound.  In some cases, you can swallow venom, and be okay. Poison is mostly touch delivered. (Injested, contact, etc.)  Now we have all that cleared up, let us begin.

But first a story.

So we were on this home school leadership camp thing in Raleigh.  One of the activities was going to see the North Carolina Supreme Court. (This is why home schooling rocks.)  While there, our tour guide let us sit in the fancy chairs, and told us the story of one person who poisoned everybody with arsenic, and their trial.  It was quite fascinating, and I started threatening people with arsenic poisoning.  (Only, I couldn’t find any arsenic lying around the house…)  Unfortunately, it started to get old.  So why not have a complete list of poisonous plants and things?

Depending on how popular this post is, I might do a few more on mushrooms and the like!  Comment if you want more!

Atropa Belladonna

Image result for atropa belladonna

Credit: wikipedia

Native to Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. According to the Poison Garden:


Symptoms may be slow to appear but last for several days. They include dryness in the mouth, thirst, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, blurred vision from the dilated pupils, vomiting, excessive stimulation of the heart, drowsiness, slurred speech, hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, delirium, and agitation. Coma and convulsions often precede death.

However, Belladonna has been used medicinally as well.  

Datura (Angel’s Trumpet)

Can cause delirious behavior and even death.  All parts are poisonous.  It can grow about 2-3 feet high and three times that across.  The leaves stink.  The flowers also open at night. (Source)

Credit: livescience




Image result for henbane plant pictures

Credit: Flowers of India

Even a quick whiff of these flowers can cause giddiness, though some cultures used this poisonous plant in religious ceremonies. From Poison Garden:


Causes dry mouth, thirst, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, warm flushed skin, dilated pupils, blurred vision and photophobia, vomiting, urinary retention, tachycardia, pyrexia, drowsiness, slurred speech, hyperreflexia, auditory, visual or tactile hallucinations, confusion and disorientation, delirium, agitation and combative behaviour. In severe cases there may be hypertension, coma and convulsions.

I couldn’t find where it primarily lives, but it did orginally grow in Europe and Asia.


Image result for Hemlock plant

Credit: kansas native plants

Native to Africa and Europe, but found in North America too.  According to kingcountry:


Poison-hemlock is acutely toxic to people and animals, with symptoms appearing 20 minutes to three hours after ingestion.  All parts of the plant are poisonous and even the dead canes remain toxic for up to three years.  The amount of toxin varies and tends to be higher in sunny areas.  Eating the plant is the main danger, but it is also toxic to the skin and respiratory system.

The typical symptoms for humans include dilation of the pupils, dizziness, and trembling followed by slowing of the heartbeat, paralysis of the central nervous system, muscle paralysis, and death due to respiratory failure.  For animals, symptoms include nervous trembling, salivation, lack of coordination, pupil dilation, rapid weak pulse, respiratory paralysis, coma, and sometimes death.  For both people and animals, quick treatment can reverse the harm and typically there aren’t noticeable aftereffects.


Image result for Mandrake plant picture

Credit: Wikipedia

A very poisonous plant that has a lot of superstitions about it. The leaves and roots are poisonous.  According to Webmd:


European mandrake is POSSIBLY UNSAFE and should be avoided. It can cause many side effects, including confusion, drowsiness, dry mouth, heart problems, vision problems, overheating, problems with urination, and hallucinations. Large doses can be fatal.


I hope you have enjoyed this post!


5 thoughts on “5 Poisonous Plants every Writer Should Know About!

  1. Pingback: A Brief Update and an Announcement | The Artful Author

  2. We’s wants more, preciousss. We’s likes poison knowledge.
    *coughs* Sorry. We’s didn’t means to sound so demandings. But we’s would likes more, preciousss, yesss. 😉
    I will be referencing back to this in the near future. (don’t worry, it’s only a fictional character that’s going to die, not a real one. 😉 )



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