10 of the Scariest Plants In the World According to Botanists

We all know about poison ivy and oak, but what are the real big baddies of the plant world? That’s what one plant-lover, or at least plant enthusiast, wants to know.

1. Gympie Gympie

Several people agree that the gympie-gympie plant is one of the scariest things, plant or not, to exist. The plant is covered in hairs that cause an excruciating sting and can last for years as the hairs are tough to remove.

2. Manchineel Tree

There’s a reason that we’re taught as children not to take and eat any fruit from any plant or tree. Some fruit, like that of the manchineel tree, looks similar to other fruits we know and even tastes good if you take a bite.

3. Datura Stramonium

This plant isn’t scary for people touching it, but it has a lot in store for anyone who ingests it. Datura Stramonium, also called the Jimson weed or the locoweed, has powerful hallucinogenic capabilities.

4. Castor Bean Plant

One botanist notes the dangers of the reasonably common Castor Bean Plant, whose seeds contain high levels of the toxin ricin. They share a story about how their boss was hospitalized for over a week after burning the plant during a yard clearing.

5. Water Hemlock

Several botanists discuss the dangers of the nearly indistinguishable Queen Anne’s lace, which can be eaten for significant nutritional value, and poisonous water hemlock.

6. Nepenthes Plants

A significant discussion breaks out in the thread about which of the many plants in the Nepenthes family was the most terrifying. One person says Nepenthes ampullaria is the scariest because it evolved to eat insects, evolved even further to eat falling leaves, and is now an omnivorous plant.

7. Aconitum Napellus

Aconitum napellus, also known as Monkshood, is a plant that can be deadly to anyone who touches it. The plant’s poison can enter the body through pores and affects the heart within hours of touching it. It’s even worse if someone were to ingest it.

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