One of the deadliest plants in the world was mistakenly planted close to a children’s park. Monkshood, which has purple flowers is extremely poisonous, so poisonous that hunters in the Amazon rainforest tip their arrows with it. The council workers apparently didn’t recognise the killer plant, and went ahead and planted six of them close to a park where children frequently play.
The flower bed is situated only a few yards from Abbot Hall Park, in Kendall, Cumbria. The park has a play area for children to run around and exercise. The alarm was raised when a local amateur botanist, Thomas Gudgeon, aged 66 spotted the flowers. They were removed from the area immediately. The poison which is produced by the plant, kills quickly by stopping the heart. According to Guy Barter from the Horticultural Society, the plant has even been used to commit suicide, by eating it. The poison can even be absorbed through the leaves.
Adele Shaw, aged 36 has two young boys who love to pick her flowers. She said:
It’s irresponsible. My boys often come running up with flowers saying, ‘Mummy these are for you!’.
An apology has been issued by South Lakeland Council, who state that the contractors who planted the deadly flowers didn’t recognise them. Children’s parks and play areas are essential for children to be able to play safely and freely, providing exercise for kids.