Scary Plants: Giant Pitcher Plant, Brugmansia, Teddy Bear Cactus

by / 0 Comments / 819 View / October 27, 2012

Brugmansia, Pitcher Plant and Teddy Bear Cactus are amazing works of nature that also qualify as "scary plants" because of their menacing traits!

My intention is not to discourage you from adding these plants to your garden or to encourage you to throw them away if you have them.

I just want you to be aware of the "darker side" of these plants!


I wrote the "Scary Plants" script for my "Way to Grow" series featuring newbie gardeners Ari and Emma.


Please watch this short, informative, and eye-opening video!


Scary Plants: Giant Pitcher Plant, Brugmansia and Teddy Bear Cactus




Giant Pitcher Plant  

Giant-pitcher-plant-is-carnivorous and traps prey

Nepenthes attenboroughii1. Giant Pitcher Plant



This exotic, carnivorous plant is native to the Phillipines where nature designed it to  be a meat eating machine.






Any insect, small bird or rodent who has the unfortunate experience of falling prey to the Pitcher plants fragrant but poisonous lure will testify from the grave to STAY AWAY!


The Giant pitcher plant secretes an attractive nectar, that also happens to be sticky, making it almost impossible to escape! 


Once the insect or other victim is in it's grasp, it falls through the large 11-inch flower opening into a deadly cauldron of toxic enzymes and acid where it dies and becomes plant food!




 Angel Trumpet- Brugmansia



The gorgeous, giant , trumpet-like, flower of the Brugmansia adorns many gardens and patios where it's fruity fragrance can be enjoyed closeup.


Just don't get too close because all of the Brugmansia parts are poisonous and contain the tropane alkaloid, scopolamine and atropine.


Tropain alkaloids pack a  powerful hallucinogenic and opiate effect that has been connected to scorcery and witchcraft for hundreds of years.


The BAD witch kind!




"Teddy Bear Cactus" Cylindropuntia bigelovii


Don't let the common name, "Teddy Bear"  fool you!
This is no sweet, squeezable plant.
Spoon up to this "teddy Bear" cholla cactus and you'll likely die from fatal stab wounds all over your body!
The name teddy bear comes from the "fuzzy soft" look of the plant from a distance- where you should stay!
The teddy bear cactus is covered by silvery-white spines, which are actually a form of leaf, that are one-inch long and sharp as a razor.
The plant is also highly flamable, so don't smoke when near it!
Luckily for most people, the teddy bear cactus grows wild in the southwest desert and you have to make an effort to visit there.
Not an easy plant to run into, literally!

More Scary Plants: Oleander and Monkshood!

Oleander- Nerium oleander

The scariest thing about the Oleander is that it is a popular plant that adorns many landscapes and masquerades as an innocent "pretty, flowering hedge!"
Not so!
Unsuspecting, curious kids and hungry pets have fallen prey to the glossy leaves, colorful flowers and deadly fruit that contains cardiac glycosides which leads to cardiac arrest!
Home gardener beware of the devilish Oleander!


Monkshood  is a flower with killer looks!
People have fallen in love with the Monkhood's charming and uncommon blue flower color.
Don't be a victim of a plant "fatal attraction!"  
At the end of this "Cupid's bow" is a poison found in Monkshood called aconite which is one of the most formidable poisonous substances known to man.
As a matter of fact, the Neanderthals used the toxic liquid from the tuber of the plant and smeared it onto their sharp arrowheads to kill both beasts and human beings!
Now that you are aware of some "scary plant" facts, please share this "Way to Grow" video and blog post  with a friend!
Hope you enjoyed the special "Halloween-inspired" post.
Way to Grow" Video Series

Garden designer Shirley Bovshow and her two apprentices, comedians Ariana Seigel and Emma Tattenbaum-Fine, take you through the basics with a fun Gardening 101 series.

Shirley brings the expertise; Ari and Emma bring the cluelessness.

If Shirley can teach them to garden, she can definitely teach you!

New video every Friday!

Garden Designer's Roundtable Blog Posts About "Dangerous Plants!"

Read these other articles about "dangerous plants" from members of GDRT:


Rebecca Sweet, Harmony in the Garden

Pam Penick, Digging

Mary Gallagher Gray : Black Walnut Dispatch : Washington, D.C.

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