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Dangers of Deadly Wild Rainforest Plants

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Last updated date: 01st Mar 2024
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Overview of Poisonous Plants on Earth

Did you know that plants in the rainforest can be dangerous? Did you know that some of the deadliest plants on earth are lurking in the rainforest? Many of these plants can cause serious harm if you come into contact with them. Some plants can cause skin irritation, plants that can make you sick, and even plants that can be deadly. 


Not all plants are our friends and are just there to provide us with things we need. In this article, we will learn about such dangerous rainforest plants and know why plants carry poison, what are the uses of poisonous plants and various other facts about them.


Poisonous Plant - Lantana


Poisonous Plant - Lantana


Why Plants Carry Poison?

Many people have questions in their minds about why plants carry poison. What is the need for them to be poisonous? The answer is simple, a plant's ability to produce poison is a defence mechanism that helps protect it from being eaten by predators. While all plants have some level of toxicity, some plants are more poisonous than others. For example, the poison ivy plant produces toxins that can cause a rash or other skin irritations. 


Several factors contribute to a plant's ability to produce poison, including the type of plant, the part of the plant that is poisonous, and the amount of poison that is produced. Additionally, how the plant is prepared (cooked, juiced, etc.) can also affect its level of toxicity. For example, raw potatoes can be poisonous, but cooked potatoes are not.


Poison Ivy Plant


Poison Ivy Plant 


The Most Poisonous Plants On Earth 

Most plants in our surroundings may look harmless enough. But not all of them are that innocent. Many plants are potent enough to kill a toddler to a giant elephant. In this section of the article, we will learn about such plants that are potent enough to be called the most poisonous plants on earth.


1. White Snakeroot (Ageratina Altissima)

  • According to reports, this plant was used to poison Abraham Lincoln. 

  • It is a herbaceous plant having little white flowers on it.

  • The dangerous toxin in the form of alcohol is formed in this plant’s stems.


White Snakeroot


White Snakeroot


2. Oleander (Nerium Oleander)

  • It is a beautiful plant with very uniquely coloured flowers 

  • It usually grows around hedges of tea and garden hedges

  • All parts of the plants are filled with a deadly poison that is potent to kill a human being and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, coma, and death. 

  • This plant is also called the world's most poisonous or deadliest plant on earth. 


Oleander Plant


Oleander Plant 


Uses of Poisonous Plants

Since ancient times some poisonous plants have been used as medications in Indian history. Below are some uses of poisonous plants:

  • Toxic plants can be used to prepare biological weapons that can help in times of country wars. 

  • Some plant chemicals like alkaloids are used as painkillers 

  • Some irritant plants like that castor can be used for extracting oil from it. 

  • The plant white snakeroot is used to treat snakebites. 

  • Some toxic plants are used to treat severe cardiac problems.


Summary 

To summarise all the learnings, we can say that not all plants are suitable for humans or other life forms. Some can be highly poisonous and have the potential to kill animals and even humans. In this article, we also discussed all the poisonous plants and named the plant known as the world's most poisonous plant or the deadliest plant on earth. Then we looked at how some poisonous plants have been used in medications and bioweapons since ancient times. Through these learnings, we can say that one must always be aware of the plants they are surrounded with as some of them can cause things like allergies or even cause hazards to our lives.

FAQs on Dangers of Deadly Wild Rainforest Plants

1. Name some dangerous rainforest plants. 

There are many plants in the rainforest, but some can be harmful or dangerous to us. Some of the dangerous rainforest plants are

  1. Castor Bean - castor oil is derived from these seeds but contains one of the most dangerous poisons, ricin. 

  2. Manchineel - the whole plant is poisonous and, if ingested, can send you to hospital for days; the plant fruits look like a lemon but are dangerous. 

2. How can we know that a plant is dangerous?

Most poisonous plants usually tend to have unique, vibrant coloured flowers that are attractive to see but can be indicators of the plant being poisonous or deadly for us. So being aware of vibrant, catchy flowers can be one of the measures to know poisonous plants.

3. Do poisonous plants taste bitter?

Most harmful plant poisons or chemicals are usually bitter; therefore, it is safe to assume that most poisonous plants are bitter.

4. Can we smell poison in plants?

No, we cannot usually see or smell plants with our senses. Poisons are supposed to be a hidden or secret weapon for the plants' self-defense; if they are sniffed out, they will be of no use.