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Spurge Laurel

Weird Plants

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Spurge Laurel

While Giant Hogweed scares with its alien appearance, we look at an unassuming plant with small, glossy leaves that may be commonly found in ornamental gardens and public grounds. Spurge Laurel is closely related to the Bay Leaf, but this woody mini-shrub offers one of the dreadful deaths in the Plant Kingdom. Containing powerful biocides, Spurge Laurel will cause blistering and irritation if cut or handled carelessly, but it is internally that it wreaks its havoc. Consumption of even a couple berries will result in major internal bleeding and organ failure, with death imminent within several hours. Interestingly, some tribes have used Spurge Laurel as a drug of last resort for seriously infected patients, but the cure may be worse than the disease. Wild Greenfinches can eat it without suffering any harm.


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