Poisonous plants: The Five Most Dangerous Species

In the world of fungi, some are more deadly than others. While all types of mushrooms can be equally poisonous, there are a few species that have left an especially nasty taste in the mouths of humans. It’s been recorded that throughout history, people who have ventured into the woods with a basket and a taste for wild mushrooms have had their final meal. That’s because eating certain kinds of toxic mushrooms can lead to nausea, vomiting, organ failure, or even death. Because it may take several days before symptoms appear after ingesting these poisonous fungi, the mortality rate from eating them is quite high.

The dangers are not just confined to fungii though. Here is what you need to know about six of the most dangerous poisons on earth...

Deadly Webcap

A deadly webcap is a pale to dark brown mushroom that grows on rotting logs. It can be found in temperate areas of the world and is especially common in North America. The deadly webcap is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the world. It can be fatal even if eaten in small quantities, while symptoms can take several days to appear.

One of the most dangerous aspects of this fungus is a delayed reaction, which means symptoms can appear several days after ingestion, making diagnosis difficult. If you're unlucky enough to ingest a deadly webcap, you can expect symptoms including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty breathing. The symptoms may persist for several weeks.

Death Cap

The death cap is one of the most common and deadliest mushrooms in the world. It’s native to Europe and has been unintentionally introduced to other areas of the globe. This mushroom is often mistaken for the paddy straw mushroom, which is edible but has a very similar appearance. If a person is unfortunate enough to ingest a death cap, it can be fatal. Death cap spores can also contaminate other edible mushrooms.

The death cap, also known as the death cup, is a mushroom that is extremely toxic and can kill you if you eat even one. It’s native to the temperate areas of the Northern Hemisphere, and it is especially abundant in Asia. The death cap is easily recognizable due to its bright orange color and its white gills. It grows in a variety of forest habitats and is often found growing on or near decaying wood.

This can be a very large mushroom that can measure up to 10 inches in diameter. It has a bulbous, rounded cap that comes to a narrow point at the top. The cap is bright orange with white veins and gills.

The death cap is extremely toxic, and even a small amount can cause death. Eating just one mushroom can lead to vomiting, abdominal cramps, and death, which can occur within a few days.

Destroying Angels

The destroying angel is a white mushroom that’s commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere. It grows primarily on trees and is also known as the “angel of death.” The destroying angel is the second-most poisonous mushroom in the world. While the death cap kills more people, the destroying angel is more toxic because smaller amounts can cause death. It can be fatal if eaten even in very small quantities, with symptoms appearing within 30 minutes and lasting for several hours. While the destroying angel is more deadly, it’s less common than the death cap, but it’s important to be aware of both species when in areas where wild mushrooms grow.

False Morels

False morels are a type of fungus that grows in temperate areas of the world. They are often mistaken for edible morel mushrooms. False morels are among the most toxic mushrooms in the world abd because these species look very similar to edible mushrooms, it’s hard to tell them apart.

It’s important to make sure that the mushroom you are eating is not a false morel. False morels are very toxic and can lead to organ failure and death. However, symptoms often don’t appear until several days after ingestion, so the damage may already be done before you realize your mistake.


Cowbane, also known as cow parsnip or poison parsnip, is a poisonous plant native to the United States. Cowbane grows in open spaces, particularly in disturbed areas such as fields and roadsides. Its flowers are yellow and its leaves are large, coarse, and arrowhead-shaped. Cowbane is highly poisonous and can cause severe burns and blisters if it is touched. It can also cause irritation and swelling in the eyes and mouth. If eaten, the plant can cause vomiting and diarrhea, abdominal pain, and kidney damage. Cowbane is generally not fatal, but its long-term effects can be serious and even deadly.


These are five deadly poisons that you should definitely avoid. Although many toxic substances are extremely poisonous, it is possible to survive eating them if you get medical attention quickly enough. If you do decide to forage for wild mushrooms, or eat strange plants, make sure you have a trusted guide or guidebook and that you know what you are doing before you go digging for dinner. Keep these 'foodstuffs' out of your basket and off your plate, and you’ll be perfectly safe from these deadly dinners.