25 Terrifying Plants That Are Actually Quite Commonplace

Posted by , Updated on September 16, 2022

Terrifying plants? How are they even mildly scary? It just doesn’t make any sense at all. It’s a crazy hypothesis. Plants just sit there and wave around in the wind. They have leaves, maybe even flowers. That’s the opposite of scary! Yes, it’s true, plants should not be scared by a means. They should be the things you look at to calm down, let your fears fade away, and lose all of that anxiety. Until they eat a goat that is!

That’s right, we said, “Until they eat a goat.” There is a plant on this list called the Puya chilensis, and its nickname is the “sheep-eating plant.” Why? Because it eats sheep, that’s why. Okay, you might have an image in your head now of something quite unrealistic.

When we say that it eats sheep, what we mean is that sheep get tangled up in its spines, starve, and then their bodies provide the plants with nutrients. Nature can be quite grim, no? Well, that’s not even the worst plant on our list. If you get queasy around botanical monsters, don’t read on because these are 25 Terrifying Plants That Are Actually Quite Commonplace!

Featured Image: Clinton & Charles Robertson via Flickr


Teddy bear cactus

Teddy bear cactusImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Don’t be deceived, that fuzzy look is only due to the high density of sharp spines covering its stem. The spines are extremely painful and very hard to remove from the skin.


Jimson weed

Jimson weedImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This plant is part of the nightshade family and is a powerful deliriant, meaning that it can cause extremely realistic and terrifying hallucinations if ingested.


Destroying angel

Destroying angelSource: wikipedia

Although not technically plants, these mushrooms are some of the most toxic on Earth and are responsible for most cases of mushroom poisoning.


American pokeweed

American pokeweedImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Small doses will cause you to puke uncontrollably. Large doses will paralyze your respiratory organs and kill you.


Sheep-eating plant

Sheep-eating plantImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Officially called the Puya chilensis, this plant is native to Chile and apparently can cause medium sized animals like sheep to get tangled in its spines. The animal will often starve to death and provide the plant with nutrients.



Monks-hoodImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Officially known as Aconitum napellus, just touching it can send you to the hospital. High doses (typically via ingestion) can kill you.


Angel's Trumpet

Angel's TrumpetImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

It’s hallucinogenic effects have been described as “terrifying and not pleasurable.”



KudzuImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This highly invasive plant is native to Asia, but was introduced to the United States in the 1800’s. It tends to propagate quickly and kill other plant species in the process.


Honey locust

Honey locustImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

While it’s not toxic, the thorns are quite terrifying. In fact, its other name is “thorny locust.”


Water hemlock

Water hemlockImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Also known as Cicuta, this highly toxic plant, one of the most toxic in North America, looks a lot like Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota). You don’t want to confuse them. Once ingested, this plant will cause nausea, vomiting, and seizures to name a few symptoms.


Monkey cups

Monkey cupsImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Although they get their name from monkeys that drink water out of the pitcher, these carnivorous plants have been known to trap and eat prey as big as small birds.



GorseImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Although it’s not toxic, it’s big, invasive, and hard to remove. Furthermore, it grows really fast and can cover an entire hillside with its spikes before you even realize what happened.



FoxgloveImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Eating this attractive plant can cause everything from digestive issues to cardiac arrest and death.



Larkspur, Source: wikipediaImage: wikipedia

This plant is toxic to both people and animals. In fact, it has been responsible for fairly heavy livestock losses in the western United States.


White snakeroot

White snakerootImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This plant can be toxic even if it is consumed second hand. In fact, Abraham Lincoln‘s grandmother reportedly died after drinking cow milk that had been affected.


Doll's Eye

Doll's EyeImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Eating the berries of this plant basically sedates your heart, leading to cardiac arrest.


Castor Bean Plant

Castor Bean PlantImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

It contains ricin (albeit lower levels), which prevents cells from turning amino acids into proteins. So, while it won’t stop your heart right away like some of the other plants on this list, it is deadly if untreated.


European yew

European yewImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

The crazy thing about this plant is that it may not cause any symptoms, but can still kill you within a few hours.


Japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweedImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Native to Asia, this species is considered invasive in North America and Australia. In fact, it’s illegal to have it growing on your property in the latter. It’s root system has been known to damage the foundations of buildings and roads.


Sago palm

Sago palmImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This plant, originally from Japan, grows well in the southeastern United States and is poisonous to both pets and humans. According to the Animal Poison Control Center, after ingestion there is a 50-70% fatality rate.



OleanderImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

If ingested, this beautiful plant is known to cause a wide range of symptoms that affect the gastrointestinal, cardiac, and central nervous systems. In spite of its toxicity and use as a suicide agent (primarily in Asia), this plant grows freely in many school yards.


Rosary Pea

Rosary PeaImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

Suffice it to say that the Russians used to use them (still do?) to carry out assassinations.



HogweedImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

The sap from this plant can cause permanent scars and if it touches your eyes, blindness.


Corpse flowers

Corpse flowersImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This refers to any species of flower that emits a smell resembling that of rotting flesh (there are a few).


Suicide plant

Suicide plantImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

This plant is covered in hairs that have been known to cause so much pain that allegedly people kill themselves to escape it (hence the name). Interestingly enough, without the hairs, the fruit is edible.

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