You Should Know About These Poisonous Flowers Before Your Spring Hike
Cailyn Finkel 3/29/2018
As the weather warms and the snow thaws, many of us are ready to don our hiking boots and get out into nature. Unfortunately, several dangerous species of flowers can turn your lovely hike into a dangerous escapade. Instead of brushing this warning aside, it's time to learn about these flowers and how to protect yourself properly.
It may seem like an exaggeration, but several of these flowers can end your life shortly after exposure...
While the blossoming flowers of the snakeroot are gorgeous, they are extremely poisonous due to the trematol (a dangerous alcohol) that's present within the plant. The Encyclopedia Britannica explains that the most common way for a human to fall ill because of the snakeroot is due to something called "milk sickness."
This means a human consumes the milk of an affected animal and is poisoned that way.
Common symptoms of snakeroot poisoning are weakness, loss of appetite and tongue redness. If the symptoms go untreated, convulsions, coma and death may follow.
Even though the foxglove flower is downright beautiful, its threatening nature cannot be overlooked. When used pharmaceutically, the foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is an important part of many heart failure medications. However, when this flower is ingested with dosage or a doctor's recommendation, the result could cause a person to pass away.
The Poison Control website says that every part of the foxglove plant is dangerous to humans and pets.
"People who eat any part of the plant or make tea from the leaves are, in essence, taking an unregulated dose of heart medicine. This can cause the heart rate to slow down or become irregular. Both can be dangerous and life-threatening.
Foxglove is one of many reasons to watch children closely when they play outdoors. It's also an excellent reason NOT to prepare your own herbal medicines, tea, or food from wild plants or plants growing in your garden unless you are an expert and know how to do so safely."
It's also important to stay away from the foxglove if you see it growing in the wild. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the water hemlock is the most toxic plant that grows in the country. The site explains that only a pinch of this plant can cause violent convulsions and those who are exposed to it can pass away quickly. Even though the flowers themselves are toxic, it's the roots and lower parts of the plant that are the most dangerous.
"Animals will eat water hemlock early in spring and graze on the green seed heads later in the season. The roots; however, are more palatable and animals have been poisoned when the roots are exposed by plowing or cleaning ditches or when animal tramp in the streambeds.
The underground portions of the plant, especially the tuberous roots, are highly toxic and very dangerous. Green seed heads have caused death losses in cattle."
While Angel trumpets are a superb addition to any garden, they are also extremely poisonous if consumed. Unlike the hemlock above, every single part of this plant is tremendously dangerous to humans and animals. Sadly, you don't need to eat plant directly to fall ill. Gardeners who touch the trumpets (and don't use disposable gloves), and then touch food later can also become sick.
Those who consume Angel trumpets will lose muscle strength, get a rapid fever, increased pulse and experience hallucinations. If those who ingest this plant don't seek medical attention immediately, paralysis, coma and possibly death can follow.
If you absolutely must plant Angel trumpets in your garden, it's best to do so far away from frequently trafficked parts of your yard. The plant is also poisonous to animals, so keep it away from Fido's favorite patch of grass.
No one can say that the rosary pea pods aren't fun to look at. But as soon as you ingest one, the results could be deadly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explain that "abrin" the natural poison found within the rosary pea is extremely toxic to humans and animals.
Unfortunately, you don't have to eat the peas to be poisoned. The CDC site explains that this can happen by merely touching a surface where abrin particles have landed and consuming the particles through breathing.
Once a human is exposed to abrin, the proteins cells need to survive are blocked, and they eventually die. Over time, this blockage of protein attacks the entire body and the person exposed to abrin can pass away within 36 t0 72 hours.
The initial symptoms vary depending on the type of exposure.
Those who have inhaled abrin experience difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, fever, cough and nausea. The respiratory problems become so severe that the person would become blue, their blood pressure would drop dramatically, and they would pass. If the abrin is eaten, severe dehydration, low pressure, vomiting and diarrhea all are common. Without immediate treatment, patients can also experience seizures, hallucinations and organ failure, causing them to pass away.