Plants have many uses in real life as well as in fiction novels. Healers use the flowers, roots and leaves to extract deadly poison to make life saving potions. Witches traditionally do the opposite, extracting the goodness from a plant to create a deadly potion, though historically witches and healers were the same thing. Speaking of history, the Wolfsbane plant was once used as means of detecting if a person was a werewolf.
Here, I take a look at some of the world’s deadliest plants. Some of which are still commonplace in gardens and yards around the world.
Venus Fly Trap
Venus Fly Traps are better known as man eaters in fiction. Like the ones owned by Morticia Addams, named Cleopatra, and Audrey Jnr, who had a starring role in the Little Shop Of Horrors. The book and movie The Day Of The Triffids featured carnivorous plants that became mobile and sought out human prey. This plant is often referred to as a man eating plant, though never has it eaten a human. Myths surrounding this man eater began in 1881, when tales of a tribe in Madagascar that fed a woman to a giant man eater as a sacrifice surfaced. The stories were believed to be true right up to 1955 when the book, “Salamanders and other Wonders” exposed the tribe and the myth originator as fabrications.
Everyone has heard of this plant, or as it is sometimes more sinisterly know – deadly nightshade. This plant, also known as the devil’s cherry, and it is toxic from tip to top. Legend has it that Macbeth’s soldiers poisoned the invading Danes with wine made from the sweet fruit. It seems authors are still fascinated with deadly plants, because nightshade is a very common title for short stories, novels, television episodes, fiction series, even comic books. In ancient times, this toxic plant was used in medicine, as an antidote to snake venoms, as a pain reliever, and as a stimulant. In the book and movie The Hunger Games, one of the Tributes was accidentally killed by eating berries known as nightlock. Though these berries are a work of fiction, they are a derivative of hemlock and nightshade, both of which are truly deadly.