They can cause an impairment of a bodily
function or even worse, the death. These are classified as toxic or
poisonous plants in herbal dictionary.
The toxic plants may be flowering or non-flowering.
Among the toxic non-flowering cryptograms,
Among the algae the following are considered as highly poisonous
Most of the fungi are toxic, especially,
- Those which attack food and fodder
- Those found in mouldy food stuffs eg. Aspergillus, Penicilium, Fusarium etc.
- Certain mushrooms
- Ferns like Aspidium, Flixmass, Adiantum and Osmunda
Among the phaenerograms,
- Abrus precatorius
- Plumbago zeylanica
- Cliestanthus collinus
- Citrullus colocynthis
- Nicotiana tobaccum
- Nerium oleander
- Aconitum ferox
- Atropa belladonna
- Papaver somniferum
- Cannabis sativa
- Strychnos nux-vomica
- Anamirta cocculus
- Semicarpus anacardium
- Myristica fragrans
- Gloriosa superba
- Croton tiglium
- Datura sp.
Poisonous plants have all long history of used by humans for various purposes.
- Killing of enemies
- To control pests
- To kill wild animals
- During wars as arrow poisons
Even though these plants are highly toxic, they are also extensively used in medicines, to exert specific effects, in low doses. For example digitalis is used as emergency medicine.
It is essential that we should know well about these plants and be careful, especially with our children and protect them from accidental poisoning.