What’s So Beautiful – But Poisonous

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Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Buyers often overlook how dangerous beautiful plants can be

Children, adults and pets can be affected, at times even hospitalization or death.

Yes, an agent is not a botanist, generally is not responsible for the landscaping or doing a study on what’s poisonous in the yard. However, if you want to be one of the most knowledgeable agents in the office or possible prevent someone or a pet from getting sick; then a little expert knowledge won’t hurt you.

  1. Do you know about Angles Trumpets
  2. Can you name the three most common poisonous plants in the US ?
  3. Are you familiar with “Mother-in-laws tongue”
  4. What is a common plant that is used for suicide?

There are some things you should know and watch for, for you could save a life.

1. Angels Trumpets

At times may be called  Brugmansia. Brugmansia are large shrubs or small trees, that have beautiful fragrant flowers; which resembles and are often called “Angels Trumpets.”

The flowers on this plant comes in various colors or shades of white, yellow, orange, green, pink or red.

Strong Hallucinogenic Effects

When gardening, caution should be exercised when around this plant; especially by children and pregnant women.

Teenagers have used this plant to make tea. They boil part of the plant to make the tea. In one state alone, over 110 teenagers have been admitted to hospitals as a result of drinking this tea.

The hallucinogenic effects of this plant have been described in the journal Pathology as “terrifying rather than pleasurable”.   It has been said that it induces a powerful trance with violent and unpleasant effects, sickening aftereffects, and at times temporary insanity”. That one can become totally unaware or what is going on and looses contact with reality; one example reported in Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, is of a young man who amputated his own penis and tongue after drinking only 1 cup of Brugmansia tea.

Note that some municipalities prohibit the purchase, sale, or cultivation of Brugmansia plants.

2. Most Common Poisonous Plants in the US

3. Mother-in-laws Tongue / also called the “Snake Plant”

Sansevieria trifasciata, also called snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue or Saint George’s sword.

Many plants are poisonous, i.e. Mother-in-Laws Tongue, but the degree or risk is usually low and therefore most homeowners do get get overly concerned. If they see their kid chewing on it, they tell him to stop and that usually will end the problem.

The other side of the coin

There are some plants that are very risky.

4. Oleander – May Cause Serious Illness or Even Death

All parts of an Oleander plant are poisonous.  If eaten (ingested) by dogs, cats, humans, horses, cattle, etc.) then serious health issues may occur, because the plant contains naturally-occurring poisons that affect the heart.

Web MD –  “Oleander is a plant. Its use as a poison is well known. In fact, oleander is reportedly a favorite suicide agent in Sri Lanka, where oleander poisonings exceed 150 per 100,000 each year. That’s a high number. Approximately 10% of these ingestions are fatal.”

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