5 POISON PLANTS FOUND IN AUSTRALIA

 5 POISON PLANTS FOUND IN AUSTRALIA

Australia is the land of dangerous animals, but it also has its fair share of plants that are poisonous. Though it is herbivores that generally face the brunt of these poisons, they’re dangerous to human beings too in the right doses. This piece contains a list of the most commonly found plant poisons in Australia.

Australia is known as the land of pests and dangerous animals. Even the duck-billed platypus, thought as a perfect example of a docile, lazy thing, is known to bite and sting, so tourists to the country are generally wary of what animals to approach and what to leave alone.

But Australia also has a wide ecosystem of poisonous plants. Now many of these plants are not potent enough to claim a human life, and many of the victims of plant poisoning in Australia tend to be curious children, but even if it is an upset stomach you’re risking, why do it if you can afford not to?

Also, poisonous plants tend to cause a lot of economic damage in the form of animal lives. Here is a list of five poisonous plants in Australia that you should therefore be wary of.

1. White Cedar

White Cedar

These brown small round fruits contain neurotoxins that are poisonous to humans in quantity. So you will be fine if you eat one or two, but have a bunch of them and you’re asking for trouble. These fruits are tolerated – and probably even liked – by birds, who pluck them and disperse their seeds, but as a human, you’d do well to steer clear of this widespread native tree. No matter how hungry you are.

2. Poison Peas

Poison Peas

Named accurately. These are confined mostly to Western Australia, and produce the metabolic toxin, sodium fluoroacetate. This is compound is synthesised artificially and sold as Poison 1080, which is used to poison, rabbits, foxes and wild dogs. Many native animals of Western Australia have developed a tolerance for this poison, but it’s most definitely not safe for a human to ingest.

3. Milky Mangrove

Milky Mangrove

It’s also called ‘blind your eye’ mangrove, and is found from northern New South Wales around the northern half of Australia to Western Australia along the river estuaries. It secretes a milky substance that can cause temporary blindness. The smoke from the fires made from its wood is also poisonous.

4. Jequirity

Oleander

Also called the rosy pea, and it is beautiful to look at, with a lovely orange and black texture. These seeds are sometimes used to make jewellery, but each of them contains enough of the toxin Abrin to kill an adult human being many times over. Abrin is chemically similar to the toxin Ricin, so wear them around your neck if you must, but by all means resist the temptation to taste them. And keep them out of reach of children, obviously.

5. Oleander

Jequirity

Oleander is another of those plants used widely as ornamentals due to their attractive colour combination. They produce cardiac glycosides, which disturb normal heart functioning and lead to fatal consequences. Yellow Oleander is responsible for many deaths in Asia – most notably in India and Sri Lanka.

Carol Ann

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