5 Poisonous Plants to Be Wary Of On Your Travels

Image by scott.zona/Wikipedia

When camping on vacation, taking advantage of fruits and plants growing around you is a great way to enjoy sustainable travel. Of course, it’s important to be aware of what plants to avoid. Here is a list of some of the more dangerous foliage to watch out for when traveling.

If you are worried about consuming anything you are unsure of, seek medical advice immediately.

Ricinus Communis AKA the Castor Oil Plant

Indigenous to the Mediterranean, Eastern Africa, and India, this plant can now be found all over the world in tropical climates. It is the current holder of the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s most poisonous plant. A lethal dose would be 4-8 seeds, creating a burning sensation in your mouth and throat.

Hippomane Mancinella AKA Manzanilla de la Muerte (little apple of death)

What looks like a tasty fruit on a Manchineel tree, is definitely an apple that you want to avoid – unless you are a tortoise (as they regularly snack on these fruits). The fruit will make your mouth burn straight away. The tree is so toxic, it also produces a white sap, that if comes into contact with your skin, will cause a severe allergic rash. Definitely not a good place to take shelter from a rain storm! This tree can be found in South America and the Galapagos Islands.

Abrus Precatorius AKA Rosary Pea

Native to Indonesia, these black, red or white beads are often used in percussion instruments. Although attractive to look at, the seeds contain abrin, which is fatal to humans. It reacts with the body in a similar way to castor seeds.

Water Hemlock

Water Hemlock is native to North America and can be found in many of its wet areas. It is a tricky one because it looks like the leaves of carrots and parsnips, but it contains a killer substance. The cicutoxin concentrated in its roots can result in sickness and convulsions.



Wisteria is a beautiful flowering plant that can be found all over the world. Despite its attractive flowers, the entire plant is poisonous. If ingested, it can cause nausea, diarrhea and high fever. It’s great for photos, but best not to touch.