Flowers are lovely, and almost everyone loves to receive them. Daisies are bright and cheerful. They remind us of a summer's day and represent friendship. Roses are elegant and beautiful and are given to our true love. As children we picked tiny yellow buttercups and put them under our chins; if our friends saw a yellow reflection they knew we were fond of butter.
We can find black versions of tulips, irises, roses, lilies, and many more. We can grow them in our gardens and listen to the Oooos and Aaahhhs from the neighbors who are unfamiliar with these unusual blooms.
I have seen black flowers in wedding bouquets and gracing the wedding cake. They are a favorite at flower and garden shows, and simply fun to grow and look at.
|Odessa Calla Lily|
Morticia Addams cut the bright heads off her roses so she was left with the lovely thorns.
Rick Moranis fed the Venus fly trap unspeakable meals in Little Shop of Horrors.
Not all flowers are pink or yellow and bring back sweet childhood memories.
Hidden behind Blarney Castle in Cork, Ireland is a poison garden that contains plants that are so toxic and dangerous that some need to be behind a cage like structure. Wolfsbane, Mandrake, Opium, Ricin, Aconitum, and Belladonna are some of the beautiful yet deadly flowers you can view. Some of these plants have been used as herbal remedies in the past, and many are still used in homeopathy today.
Another poisonous plant is Belladonna, which means 'beautiful woman'. This name came from a troubling practice in Italy where a woman was given Belladonna and her pupils dilated, giving her a very striking and lovely appearance. But ingesting this plant not only causes dilated pupils, but increased sweating, rapid heartbeat, hallucinations, and even death.
It is used as a homeopathic remedy, especially for children with fevers that make the child look red, feel hot, and experience throbbing in the head or anywhere else.
Severus Snape made Aconite, or Wolfsbane a household name when he stumped Harry Potter with a poisons question in his stressful class in the book Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
Aconitum is known as the queen of poisons, and was once used to kill wolves years ago. It is said that those in 'an aconite state' are filled with fear, feverish, and can predict the hour that they will die. When ingested it will cause nausea and vomiting, slowing of the heart and respiration, an unpleasant tingling of the limbs, and eventual death, usually within the hour. Poisoning can happen from a skin prick also. In 2004 a British actress poisoned her lover with an Aconite laced curry dish. She is currently serving a life sentence for murder.
There are hundreds of other deadly and beautiful plants.
Although not a flower, a mention of the Manchineel tree is warranted.
The Manchineel tree (Hippomane Mancinella) is so dangerous, it’s often marked with warning signs. Its leaves and small green fruit resemble those of an apple tree, hence the name – which is derived from “manzanilla”, meaning “little apple” in Spanish. But in Spain, this tree is more often known as “little apple of death”. All parts of this tree are so toxic that if you burn it and stand near the smoke, you can go blind.
Stand under this tree during a rainstorm, and you’ll get a nasty surprise in the form of blisters all over exposed parts of your body caused by contact with a white milky substance that the tree secretes when it rains. The Caribs used Manzanilla sap to poison their arrows and even tied captives to its trunk to ensure a slow and painful death. (From WebEcoist)
Interesting that Harry Potter's awful caregivers lived on Privet Drive. Privet is an innocuous looking bush with yellow berries, but the result of ingestion is terrible. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cold clammy skin are the result. Horses are especially susceptible to the poison, and riders should avoid at all costs.
With lovely names like Fairy Bells and Heart of Jesus you would think these plants would make lovely tea or decorate the prettiest cupcakes...but NO. Heart of Jesus will set your mouth and tongue on fire and send you to Hell, and Fairy Bells, or Foxglove (Digitalis) will cause nausea, vomiting, convulsions, cardiac arrest and finally death.
I always hear people say to listen to Mother Nature because it is the most gentle method of healing. I think she is the most fierce and ruthless Mother I've ever met. She takes no prisoners and does not care who you are when she takes a stand.
Certainly plants and flowers enhance our lives with their beauty and medicinal uses...but beware, things are NOT always as they seem. :)