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Book 8: Chapter 5 – When Plants Turn Deadly


1. Amanita phalloides, commonly known as the death cap, is a deadly poisonous basidiomycete fungus, one of many in the genus Amanita. This toxic mushroom resembles several edible species (most notably caesar's mushroom and the straw mushroom) commonly consumed by humans, increasing the risk of accidental poisoning.

2. Digitalis purpurea (foxglove, common foxglove, purple foxglove or lady's glove) is a species of flowering plant. The plants are well-known as the original source of the heart medicine digoxin (also called digitalis or digitalin).

3.Solanine is a poison found in species of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), such as the potato (Solanum tuberosum) and the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). It can occur naturally in any part of the plant, including the leaves, fruit and tubers. Solanine has fungicidal and pesticidal properties and it is one of the plant's natural defenses. Solanine was first isolated in 1820 from the berries of the European black nightshade (Solanum nigrum), after which it was named.

4.Curare is a common name for various plant extract alkaloid arrow poisons originating from Central and South America. It was used as a paralyzing poison by South American indigenous people. The prey was shot by arrows or blowgun darts dipped in curare, leading to asphyxiation owing to the inability of the victim's respiratory muscles to contract. The word 'curare' is derived from wurari, from the Carib language of the Macusi Indians of Guyana. Curare is also known among indigenous peoples as Ampi, Woorari, Woorara, Woorali, Wourali, Wouralia, Ourare, Ourari, Urare, Urari, and Uirary.

5. The strychnine tree, also known as nux vomica, poison nut, semen strychnos and quaker buttons, is a deciduous tree native to India, and southeast Asia. It is a medium-sized tree in the family Loganiaceae that grows in open habitats. Its leaves are ovate and 2–3.5 inches (5.1–8.9 cm) in size.

6. Atropa belladonna or Atropa bella-donna, commonly known as belladonna or deadly nightshade, is poisonous plant, native to Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, and some parts of Canada and the United States. It has a long history of use as a medicine, cosmetic, and poison. Before the Middle Ages, it was used as an anesthetic for surgery; the ancient Romans used it as a poison (the wife of Emperor Augustus and the wife of Claudius both were rumored to have used it for murder); and, predating this, it was used to make poison-tipped arrows.

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