What's the deadliest plant or tree?

I’m sure I remember reading about a tree in Australia that will kill you if you just touch it. Did I dream this or is there really a plant that can kill merely by touch?

I’m pretty certain I would have heard of this if it existed. You may well be thinking of the Giant Stinging Tree. Many say that if you are stung badly by one, you’ll wish you are dead. And there are rural legends of people who have suicided from the pain.

I’ve had a very, very tiny sting on the earlobe from a Giant Stinging Tree leaf. The pain was so bad that (according to my friends) I went white as a sheet. It bloody hurt. I cannot imagine what the pain from being stung over a large area by one woud be like. Wishing you were dead (and even acting upon that wish) do not seem utterly far fetched.

Are painkillers, even high grade narcotics ineffective? This makes me kinda curious. IF something is that bad that you wish you were dead but is not actually lethal I would imagine there is some way to address it even if its treating the symptoms.

There are no Australian trees that will kill a normal person just by a touch. Highly susceptible people maybe, but that’s also true of peanut bushes.

As for what the deadliest plant is, that’s like asking what the deadliest animal is. In what context, under what circumstances. There are any number of plants that are crammed with deadly poisons that will kill with the ingestion of even moderate amounts. There are also numerous stinging plants around the world as well as plants that have poisonous sap. The you have to factoring that some poisons have antidotes and treatments and some don’t. Very subjective term ‘deadly’.
And yeah, there are treatments available for stinging trees. Any pharmacist in areas where they are common will sell it. Apparently it’s not perfect but it reduces the pain noticeably.

Also note that reactions vary. I got a good hit from a young plant (supposedly the worst)on the inside of the thigh. It was bad but not intolerable, like a good electric shock followed by what felt like constant bee stings. Not something you’d do for shits and giggles but not the worst thing I’ve felt. That’s a pretty common reaction. Other people have been known to curl up on the ground and scream from even a small hit on the forearm. It’s got nothing to do with pain tolerance, just different physiologies experience it differently. Really lucky people get recurring reactions for months afterwards.

I have no reason to think that painkillers wouldn’t work.

The classic rural legend that I’ve heard however is along the lines of someone in an isolated area out in the bush who gets stung all over, with no pharmacy in sight. As you can imagine, these are not the sort of thing you grow in your garden. They are a rainforest plant.

ok thanks, Princhester. I think the Giant Stinging Tree is the one I was thinking of. Blake, you are right that the Stinging Tree will not automatically kill all humans it touches but this page has a link to a pdf file that says the following:

It goes on to recount the story of one guy who fell into a tree from above and shot himself because the pain was so bad. I’m guessing that the toxin’s effect on heart rate could potentially cause a heart attack in a vulnerable person.

All sounds pretty bad in any case. Interestingly, according to this page, there is another plant (Cunjevoi Lilly) that usually grows near Giant Stinging Trees that releases a jelly which (if used quickly) will soothe the pain of a sting.

Funny how stinging plants often have their antidote growing near them. Ordinary stinging nettles often have dock leaves growing nearby (at least in the UK they do).

Why am I not surprised that such a tree would grow in Australia?

[QUOTE=JFunny how stinging plants often have their antidote growing near them. Ordinary stinging nettles often have dock leaves growing nearby (at least in the UK they do).[/QUOTE]

And jewel weed is said to be good for poison ivy and often grows near it.

Mmm. Tried this when I was stung. Didn’t do jack.

Looking around, there’s a lot of things I find very intriguing about this “stinging tree”. The fact that though they cause intense pain, they dont cause any physical damage, for instance.

Also the following fact :

Next thing you knon, plants will began to extract crude oil and turn it into refined gas…

Yet another weird thing. I tell you, these plants aren’t native of our planet. They’re ET in disguise, and are plotting something really bad…

Something else I found : their fruit is edible. Kudos to anybody who’s willing to taste it!

He wil also apparently need a respiratory mask if he stays too long close to the tree while collecting said fruits with solderer gloves (apparently the only safe gear to handle the stuff).

[guru voice] If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to hear it, except you, and it falls on you, that is the deadliest tree in the forest. [/guru voice]

Can you pot these things? I live next door to some burglars who have been stealing everyone blind in the complex. I’d like to put one next to my front and balcony door so I can go on vacation (free and paid round trip) without worrying about them.
And don’t forget about the KILLER TOMATOES!

What you got against Australia? It’s a lovely place, honest. :wink:

I doubt it’s regularly tried. However, the word “Giant” is in their name for a reason. 120 feet high, 14 feet diameter at the base…

Yeah, but you can get smaller species.

Of course they are very much a tropical plant, so you’d be straining to keep them alive in most parts of the US. Definitely an indoor plant.

I think the Australian fauna and flora is an evidence proving the Flood did happen. Noah put all the creatures too dangerous to be kept onboard on some raft hauled being the Ark. Somehow, the rope broke, and all the most evil, nastiest and deadliest things existing under the sun drifted to Australia.

There is very little French cheese in Australia.

Well, I somehow lost the rest of my post. Im not going to go through it again.