North America’s Most Dangerous Plants

When heading outdoors, there are several bits of knowledge that can really help you have a better time. One of which is knowing which plants can be harmful.

Many have heard of the plants known as “Poison Ivy” or “Poison Oak” but did you know that there are several more dangerous plants found in North America? In this blog, we’ll take a look at many of the dangerous plants fount across the continent.

Poison Ivy

Of all the plants in North America, this one is one of the most infamous. The leaves of poison ivy plants are covered in an oil called urushiol that can cause severe allergic reactions when it comes in contact with human skin. 

Some people can even have a reaction so bad that their airways will close up, causing them to suffocate

Poison Ivy
(Toxicodendron rydbergii & related species)


– “Leaves of three, let it be!” If you take a closer look at the image, you’ll see that 3 leaves come out of one spot.

– It Grows low to the ground, usually not surpassing 4 feet tall.

– The leaves have a slight shine on them.

– Leaf lobes can be toothed or slightly rounded.


– This plant only grows between sea level and 8,500 feet in elevation.

If you’re unfortunate enough to get a rash from poison ivy, or other similar rash plants, here is a simple, natural way to treat it: “For a Gumweed Salve, click here” That being said, if symptoms are found in the airway, seek medical attention.


If there were ever a plant in North America to be treated with care, it would be hemlock. Unlike poison ivy, this plant doesn’t get its nasty reputation from oily leaves. When it comes to hemlock, the danger is found when ingesting any part of the plant. 

This can be especially dangerous as hemlock is part of the carrot family, and has many edible look-a-likes.

Hemlock with black background
(Circuta maculata & related species)

Identifying Hemlock

– Leaves grow to around 18″ long

– Fern like leaves

– Slight foul odor

– Grows between 3 and 10 feet tall

– Often has purple speckles on the stem

Other Dangerous Species

Bane Berries
(Bane Berries)
Golden Banner
(Golden Banner)
(Monks Hood)

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