Some plants are so deadly, they have to be caged in the world's most dangerous garden

Anita Durairaj

A sign at the Alnwick Poison Garden in Alnwick, England reads "These Plants Can Kill." The garden has been described as the "world's most dangerous garden" by the Smithsonian Magazine.

The Alnwick Poison Garden first opened in 2005. It is a part of the larger Alnwick Garden but the poison garden is contained separately behind black iron gates.

The poison garden is the brainchild of the Duchess of Northumberland. The gardens were located at the site of Alnwick Castle and were initially described to be nothing more than a row of Christmas trees. Alnwick Castle is also featured in two Harry Potter movies where it stood in for the Hogwarts building.

The duchess hired a famous landscape architect to rework the gardens to become a site of attraction for more than 600,000 annual visitors.

For the Poison Garden, 100 varieties of poisonous plants were selected. There are plants that can kill a human being. For example, there is a plant called Angel's Trumpet that can cause fatality. All parts of the plants are poisonous and ingestion results in hallucination, memory loss, paralysis, and death.

Visitors to the Poison Garden are warned not to touch or smell any of the plants. Some of the plants in the garden have even emitted toxic fumes.

Some of the selected plants in the Poison Garden have required special government permission to allow them to grow at the site.

The most poisonous plants in the garden are caged and under security watch 24-7. The Poison Garden is open to visitors but it can only be explored as a guided tour.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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