The Most Dangerous Trees You Should Never Touch

By Nick Hadji 2 months ago

1. The Little Apple Of Death (Manchineel Tree)

Image source: Reddit

If you’re lucky enough to be relaxing on the beaches of the Caribbean, you might want to get some shade from the sun by sitting under a tree but beware!  If you notice any that are marked with red bands, run away as fast as you can.  These are Manchineel trees and one of the most toxic in the whole world.

2. Namibian Bottle Tree

Image source: World Trees

This tree is common in the Etendeka plateau of NE Namibia, where it grows in the basalt slopes.  It is shaped like a bottle so it can hold water for the tree.  However, the water is very poisonous and fatal to both animals and humans. Hunters use the water for hunting game.

3. Eastern Cottonwood Tree

Image source: Purdue Fort Wayne

Eastern Cottonwood is a large tree with deep roots and weak wood.  It can be found in lowland areas and by streams, allowing it to grow very fast, up to 100 feet high.  It looks impressive but don't go near it as the weak wood could easily break off, when touched, posing a danger to anyone nearby.

4. Suicide Tree

Image source: Suicide

The name should be a strong hint that the tree is one of those that could kill you instantly! It is known as a murder weapon because people have used the tree to poison someone or commit suicide.  The tree has beautiful green leaves and white flowers so doesn't look daunting but don't be fooled.

5. The Sandbox Tree

Image source: Reddit

The Sandbox tree is also referred to as the dynamite tree because its large pods regularly explode and drop bulky seeds at high speed.  Because the trees can be 200 feet high, this makes the dropping seeds dangerous to anything below.  This weird tree has spikes all around the trunk and they produce a poisonous sap.

6. The Milky Mangrove

Image source: iNaturalist

The Milky Mangrove is a tree that grows mainly on tropical coastlines.  It has a toxic composition that is dangerous to living organisms including humans. If any part of the tree is cut or scratched, a milky sap is released, causing blisters and swelling if it touches human skin.

7. Poison Sumac

Image source: Zaine

Poison sumac is a native plant that grows exclusively in extremely wet or flooded soils, usually in peat bogs and swamps.   The plant is poisonous all over as each part of it contains an oil which leaves skin inflamed.  A rash then develops, followed by nasty blisters.

8. The Angel’s Trumpet

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The Angel’s Trumpet is only a small tree although it has large pendulous flowers.  It is native to South America and every single part of the plant is toxic. Consumption of any part of the plant could lead to devastating symptoms such as memory loss, hallucinations, paralysis - and death!

9. Bunya Pine Tree

Image source: Transition Australia

Bunya Pine trees grow very tall, reaching around 148 feet. The danger from the tree comes from the spiky pine cones that are absolutely gigantic and fall from the tree for reproduction.  Get hit on the head from one of these and you would be knocked unconscious or worse, killed.

10. Strychnine Tree

Image source: Dilmah Conservation

The Strychnine tree is native to India and Southeast Asia. The deadly tree produces a strychnine chemical which has been used as a chemical murder weapon for animals and humans. The poison is found in the seeds and can cause dizziness, muscle cramping and even paralysis.

11. Gympie-Gympie

Image source: ZME Science

Gympie-Gympie is a deadly version of the stinging nettle that has stinging vegetation full of toxic chemicals. These chemicals are fatal to humans and any contact with the plant could lead to major discomfort or, worse case, death.  The plant has a similar effect on large animals.

12. Castor Beans Tree

Image source: North Carolina Extension

The Castor Beans tree is used to make castor oil. It grows along cultivated field edges and river banks in North America and parts of the southern and eastern America. Eating a castor bean will kill you. Castor oil is used for medicinal purposes, when the toxins are removed during processing.

13. Wild Cherry Tree

Image source: Wild Food UK

Wild Cherry trees are often used along fence lines and are harmless under normal circumstances. However, stressful conditions such as storms, can cause wilting which breaks down the glycosides found in the leaves. A toxic component is released and is fatal if consumed.

14. Laburnum

Image source: Flowering World

Often called golden chain or golden rain, the laburnum is extremely poisonous. The pea-like seeds are attractive to young children but, if ingested, they can cause nausea and vomiting. If more than 15 seeds are consumed, this could be lethal and cause deaths.

15. Poison Oak Tree

Image source: Nature Collective

Poison Oak is a common shrub in Western North America and sprouts white flowers during the spring. Whilst it is not an actual tree, it does grows around and on trees. The plant oozes an oil called urushiol and this can cause blistering and swelling in some individuals.

16. European Yew Tree

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All parts of this tree, including the leaves and seeds, contain a deadly substance, taxin. The only edible part is the red berry part that keeps the seeds of the yew. Consuming the seeds will lead to vomiting and an upset stomach, together with dizziness and possible blurred vision.

17. Horse Chestnut Tree

Image source: Dr Joe

The Horse Chestnut tree has been cultivated in the Pacific Northwest and displays beautiful flowers.  because of the beautiful flowers it displays. Whilst it provides a variety of health benefits to humans, the seeds must not be eaten raw,  If they are, the symptoms include vomiting, extreme thirst and paralysis.

18. Deadly Nightshade

Image source: Imbius

The Deadly Nightshade is as described in its name, a deadly plant. It has black cherry-like fruits that are not for human consumption as they contain a deadly poison which could cause severe health conditions. These include gastrointestinal disorders and cardiovascular disease.

19. Water Hemlock

Image source: Delaware News

The stem of the poisonous hemlock plant has purple spots and is closely related to poison hemlock (the plant that killed Socrates), Water hemlock is thought to be "the most violently toxic plant in North America." It can rapidly generate potential fatal symptoms in anyone who eats it. Convulsions, abdominal cramps and nausea are the mild symptoms it produces!

20. Oleander

Image source: Living Color

Although Oleander is commonly grown as a hedge and ornamental, all parts of this plant are deadly, containing lethal cardiac glycosides known as oleandrin and neriine. If swallowed, Oleander can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, cause falling into a coma and death.

21. Tobacco Plant

Image source: Red Vape

This the most widely grown commercial non-food plant. All parts of the plant, predominantly its leaves, contain the toxic alkaloids that are nicotine and anabasine and can be fatal if eaten. Tobacco use causes more than 5 million deaths every year, on that basis making it the most deadly plant in the world.

22. Foxglove

Image source: The Spruce

This plant contain toxic cardiac glycosides. Consuming any parts of the plant, especially the leaves, can result in severe poisoning. Symptoms include headache, nausea, skin irritation and diarrhoea. In more severe cases, it can lead to visual and perceptual disturbances as well as heart and kidney problems.

23. White Snakeroot

Image source: Indiana News

White snakeroot is a North American herb that contains a toxic alcohol known as trematol. Unlike those who have died from directly from ingesting deadly plants, if you drink milk from a cow that has grazed on the plant, the animal can pass the toxins on to you.

24. Rosary Pea Plant

Image source: The Independent

Rosary Pea plant is an invasive weed that grows in the US but originated in India. It has beautiful black and red seeds that are uniformly sized - but don't be fooled!  The seeds are highly toxic and even one single seed can kill. The symptoms experienced from consumption include headaches, hallucinations, a fast heart rate and organ failure.

25. Autumn Crocus

Image source: Diggidog

The Autumn Crocus, if consumed, can cause burning of the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, liver and kidney issues, nerve problems, organ failure and death. There have been reports of poisoning when this plant was eaten in error, when it was mistaken for either onions, wild garlic or wild leeks.

26. Monkshood

Image source: Reddit

Also known as Adam and Eve, its flowers grow on tall spikes that bloom between June and September. All parts of the plant are poisonous, especially the roots. If ingested, it can cause severe stomach pain and dizziness. The poison can also affect the heart and cause death.

27. Poison Ivy

Image source: Health eNews

You’ve probably heard the old saying, “leaves of three, let it be.” This brief warning is intended to stop you from touching or brushing against the poison ivy plant. The reason for this warning is that it can cause a blistery, itchy rash all over the body which can weep and leave scarring.

28. True Lily

Image source: Reddit

These popular flowers are extremely unsafe for cats. All parts of the plant are toxic, so that is the flower, stem, pollen and leaves. It includes water from the vase where the flowers are arranged.  If ingested, cats can suffer from fatal kidney failure. For dogs who eat them, they may develop mild stomach symptoms.

29. Pokeweed

Image source: Reddit

Native to the eastern United States, Pokeweed is best known for its large lance-shaped leaves, long red-purple stems, up to 10 feet high and it's dark purple berries which grow in a grape-like cluster. It is often found by roadsides, in pastures and along the border of woods. The raw berries and the roots are poisonous.

30. Avoiding Poisonous Trees And Plants

Image source: Science Alert

The first step to avoiding poisonous trees and plants is to learn to recognize them. Once you do that, the next step is to keep your family and pets away from any toxic plants or trees. It goes without saying that you should avoid eating any of the seeds or berries, no matter how tempting they appear.

31. The Most Dangerous Fruits In The World: Yellow Star Fruit

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The yellow star fruit may look pretty and innocent, and for the most part it is - unless you have kidney problems. The star fruit is a dangerous fruit if you're suffering with weak kidneys, because it could actually cause kidney stones or - worse - seizures and death if you eat loads of it.

32. Ackee Fruit

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The danger of this Jamaican fruit comes from failing to prepare and eat it properly. If you do everything by the book, you can enjoy this delicious fruit - if you make a mistake, you're likely to suffer from Jamaican Vomiting Sickness, which is a condition that could put you in a coma - or even kill you.

33. Elderberries

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The majority of an elderberry plant is very dangerous - this includes the stem, leaves, seeds and roots. It's a poisonous plant that can lead to cyanide build up in the body, that can result in serious health repercussions, a coma or even death. The elderberry itself is safe if the poisonous seeds are removed and if it's prepared properly! But only if!

34. Apricot Kernels

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These kernels are found in the pit of an apricot, and although apricots themselves are very tasty and nutritious, you need to watch out for those kernels. Just like elderberries, apricot kernels can lead to a build up of cyanide in the body. In very high doses, they're therefore poisonous.

35. Manchineel

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We've already mentioned how dangerous the manchineel tree is - but so is the fruit that grows on it! Even just one bite of the manchineel apple can cause vomiting, damage to your digestive tract and result in death. That means being anywhere near this tree puts you at risk of both the tree and the fruit itself!

36. European Spindle

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The European Spindle tree gives off these bright pink pods during the fall season. But just as we know the brightest animals are the most poisonous, these pink fruit pods are highly poisonous, too. If eaten, the pods can cause vomiting, hallucinations, dizziness, kidney failure and - you guessed it - death.

37. Pangium Edule Fruit

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Apart from looking like the most unappetising fruit on the planet, the fruit from the pangium edule plant is large, brown and very dangerous. The seeds, as well as the leaves of the tree, can result in sleepiness, delirium and eventual death due to the poison it contains.

38. Jatropha

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You can actually find this fruit all over the world, but it's the Indian version in particular that's been known to be quite dangerous. It's the seeds of the fruit that are poisonous, containing the toxin, ricin. The seeds can cause vomiting, diarrhea and kidney damage.

39. Yew Berries

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The yew shrub plant produces brightly colored red berries, and not only is the plant toxic, but these berries contain a seed that's also poisonous. Some animals and birds that eat these berries somehow manage to pass the seed unbroken and therefore not dangerous, but any humans eating the seeds would be victim to convulsions, collapse and death.

40. Strychnine

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The strychnine tree produces these very toxic berries, and it's actually a poison that's popular for fictional characters to use as a murder weapon of choice! Eating this poisonous berry would result in convulsions so severe, the body could be twisted into usually-impossible positions. Death usually follows due to exhaustion or cardiac arrest.

41. Rhubarb

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Okay, so we know this isn't technically a fruit, but it's worth a shout out because it's close enough. That's because it's usually prepared in the same way a fruit is, rather than a veggie. So it's not the rhubarb itself you have to worry about, but the leaves of the plant: they're very poisonous.

42. Asparagus Berries

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You can easily grow asparagus plants in your own garden, but some of the plant is poisonous - including the berries. It isn't a life-threatening poison, but if you eat these berries, you can expect stomach problems, as well as skin irritation from where you touched them!

43. Cashews

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So cashews are well known for being a 'nut', but they're actually the seed of a fruit! The cashew itself is fine to eat, but the cashews grow surrounded by a very toxic shell which needs to be properly removed so the cashew can be safely eaten. The fruit itself is called the cashew-apple.

44. Almonds

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Just like cashews, almonds are something else most people would think of as a nut - but an almond is actually a dry fruit. And most people would eat or taste the sweet almonds, but the 'bitter almonds' that exist in the world contain deadly cyanide, so they must be processed to make sure they're no longer poisonous.

45. Cherries

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Did you know that those delicious sweet cherries are actually toxic? It's just the stone you have to worry about, but because cherries are so small, accidents can easily happen if you're trying to avoid the stone! Breaking into it could result in headaches, vomiting, breathing problems and kidney failure.

46. Tomatoes

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Okay, so we don't mean the whole tomato, because they're very good for you as we know - the part of a tomato that's actually dangerous is the stem, as well as the leaves. The problematic substance these bits contain can result in an upset stomach and also cause nervousness.

47. Daphne

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Daphne is a shrub that shows off little red berries - and while the berries are find for birds to munch on, they're toxic for humans. Even just handling the twigs can result in serious rashes, while actually eating the berries can also result in the sensation of choking in your throat.

48. Apple Seeds

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We all know apples are a healthy fruit, and we all know not to eat the seeds. But you might have just thought it was 'one of those things' without knowing the seeds are actually dangerous. The good news is, if you accidentally eat one, it probably won't do anything. But if you eat loads of the seeds, it could kill you.

49. Sea Buckthorn Berries

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These orange berries are very toxic, and should never be eaten. It's best to avoid the entire plant - and its berries - altogether to be safe! If any part is ingested, it can seriously impact your peripheral nervous system (outside of your brain and spine) by causing an inflammatory disorder.

50. Winterberry

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This shrub is a great snack for wildlife - not so much for humans. It's very poisonous for humans to eat. The bright red fruit may look pretty, but you will have serious nausea and low blood pressure if you ingest any part of the plant, including the berries, leaves and seeds.