Last Updated on July 25, 2019
You will not believe the things that people normally do in China, all cultures of the world can find what happens in this country so strange, sometimes even too strange to be true.
China is a unique country indeed. Smart Side has compiled the weirdest things that local people do or that can only happen in this country. It’s really mind blowing!
Apart from the fact that it has more English speakers than in the United States, China has a lot more to offer and is worth discovering.
Scientific name: Ranunculus
Existence: Northern Hemisphere’s temperate zone, it lives in damp spots or bogs.
There are various species of buttercups, and the majority of them are toxic.
Why it is lethal: Caustic sap is its main constituent that leaves blisters on the skin.
If it reaches your mucous membranes, it would provoke coughing and larynx spasms. It may cause temporary blindness if the sap gets into your eyes.
Scientific name: Datura stramonium
Existence: In Europe, Northern and Central America, and Southern Russia.
Jimsonweed is a hidden plant with spiny capsule fruits that contain black seed inside. What is special about this plant is the smell of its white flowers which is stupefying. It looks like potatoes or tomatoes and that is not surprising since they are close relatives.
Why it is lethal: Alkaloids is one of its strong constituents that cause palpitations, delirium, and disorientation. Death or coma is possible in bad situations. Shamans are one of many peoples who use this plant in their rituals.
Scientific name: Nerium
Existence: Tropical and subtropical regions. It is applied in landscape designing and So many people grow it as a houseplant all over the world. Nerium is really an insidious plant attracting us with its fragrance and gorgeous pink or white flowers.
Why it is lethal: cardiac glycosides is its main constituent that can change your heart rate and cause headache, weakness, nausea, and even death. According to a legend, once the soldiers of Napoleon burned oleander branches in order to roast meat on it. In the morning some of them didn’t wake up.
Scientific name: Sambucus
Existence: Temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere and Australia.
Red elder and black elder are the most common members of this kind. The plant is poisonous completely, so if you touch it you need to wash your hands immediately. Ripe black elderberries, even though, are safe and are used to produce beverages and pies.
Why it is lethal: a headache, abdominal pains, weakness, and occasionally, seizures are the main symptoms. Cardiac or respiratory failure may happen too.
7. Cowbane or Water Hemlock
Scientific name: Cicuta virosa
Existence: North America, Asia, and Europe. It lives in wet places such as bogs and river banks.
The scent of cowbane is similar to carrots, but it could deceive you since it’s not easily recognizable from related species, and it is one of the top poisonous plants on Earth. So to be safe avoid touching similar looking plants growing in wet places.
Why it is lethal: toxic signs are seizures, nausea, and cardiac depression. It may lead to death. As little as 100-200 grams (3.5-7 oz) of cowbane root is enough to kill a cow.
6. Aconite or Wolf’s Bane
Scientific name: Aconitum
Existence: In North America, Europe, and Asia. It is used for decorative purposes because of its gorgeous purple blue and yellow flowers. It’s an attractive tall plant.
In ancient times, it was used for very different purposes: poisoning arrows! Even bees could be poisoned if they collect aconite pollen.
Why it is lethal: it is purely toxic; the main symptoms are cardiac arrhythmia, darkened vision, numbness, and death.
Scientific name: Heracleum
Existence: in temperate zones of Eurasia. One kind grows in the USA.
A huge plant that looks impressive, but you should avoid taking a selfie next to it.
Why it is lethal: it contains Furanocoumarins that cause painful blistering under sunlight. In case you touched some hogweed sap, you need to wash your hands immediately and protect it from sunlight for 2 days.
Scientific name: Euphorbia
Existence: Anywhere. Many people put it in their houses. A big number of species belonging to the Euphorbia genus. But they are different from each other: some are like cacti, others like flowers. You have to educate your children to avoid touching strange plants, even if they grow in your home.
Why it is lethal: The sap causes blisters, and then indisposition, swellings and fever.
Scientific name: Rheum rhabarbarum
Existence: Planted in Europe, the USA, and Russia. A lot of countries use rhubarb to make pies, sauces, and salads. Others may like to bite its raw stalks.
Why it is lethal: many people don’t know that the leaves and root of this plant shouldn’t be eaten since it contains a huge amount of Oxalic acid. It may cause burning in the throat and eyes, nausea, kidney stones, and diarrhea.
Scientific name: Atropa belladonna
Existence: Europe, Northern Africa, Southern Russia, Asia Minor, and parts of North America. Belladonna resembles a bush with black berries and pinkish flowers. Atropine, an alkaloid causing pupil dilation is its main constituent.
belladonna drops were used during the middle ages to make the eyes more attractive. Nowadays similar drops are used during eye operations.
Why it is lethal: moderate toxicity causes dryness, palpitations, and burning in the mouth. Severe toxicity causes complete loss of orientation and sometimes cramps and death
1. Castor Bean
Scientific name: Ricinus communis
Existence: Tropical, subtropical, and temperate zones. It’s exceptional look made it grown as a decorative plant. Also, castor beans are a major constituent of castor oil. But there is no need to worry since heat treatment demolishes all the toxins.
Why it is lethal: it is considered as the top dangerous plant, since it contains extremely poisonous compounds: ricin and ricinine. The seeds lead to death if eating only 4-7 of them. Smaller doses cause irreparable harm to health since ricin devastates body tissues.
The extra ordinary Venus flytrap
Movies may shape a horrific idea about this plant but you may not believe that Venus flytrap virtually doesn’t exist in its native environment. However, there are preservation efforts to save the flytrap (in the wild). It continues, at least to grow in domestic gardens, window sills, and greenhouses all across the globe.
So stay relaxed since this curious plant is not able to kill you!