At the height of North American summer, many plants are at their most dangerous.
We don’t normally think of plants as particularly scary organisms. But this rather entertaining Reddit thread will make you reconsider that assumption.
“Botanists of reddit, what are the scariest plants in the world?” user Zipzapadam asked. And Reddit delivered.
We’re not talking about common poison ivy or run-of-the-mill carnivorous plants. Some of these plants could actually kill you.
As one Redditor put it, “This post just makes me want to stay indoors and hide from plants.”
You probably will, too. Here are nine terrifying plants to stay away from:
DON’T MISS: 7 things that make mosquitoes bite you more
Aconitum napellus, “Monkshood,” “Wolfsbane”
It looks beautiful and harmless, but all parts of the Monkshood plant are poisonous.
In ancient times, people would use it on arrow tips and as bait to kill wolves, which is why it’s also called Wolfsbane.
Monkshood can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and numbness if it’s eaten.
Ricinus communis, “Castor Bean”
Castor beans are high in ricin, the effects of which can escalate quickly.
Symptoms of ingestion can include “stomach irritation, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, profuse sweating, collapse, convulsions, and death within a few days,” according to Union County College biology professor Tom Ombrello.
Redditor Rabzozo said their boss spent a week in the hospital after he set a fire in his yard and inhaling smoke that happened to contain compounds from castor plants. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that “unintentional exposure to ricin is highly unlikely, except through the ingestion of castor beans.”
Don’t eat them.
Cicuta, “Water Hemlock”
Water hemlock looks a lot like Queen Anne’s Lace, another plant with small white flowers.
To tell the difference, remember that Queen Anne’s Lace has a single red blossom at the heart of its bunch of white flowers.
Water hemlock is one of the most common poisonous plants throughout the US and UK.
If you eat it, the plant can cause seizures that may lead to death.