They did look pretty, but little did Kendal city staff know that the elegant purple flowers they planted near a children's park were among the world's deadliest. According to the Westmoreland Gazette, the South Lakeland District Council apologized in shock when it was informed of its erroneous decision, and assured the public that all plants were removed and properly disposed off.
It was local botanist Thomas Gudgeon who first noticed the little purple flowers near Abbot Hall Park and identified them as Monkshood. "Natives of the Amazon jungle dip their arrows in the plant to kill monkeys in the trees," Gudgeon told the Gazette. "The monkey is dead before it hits the ground -- it's one of the world's deadliest plants."
Monkshood, or Wolfsbane as it is also called, is a toxic plant that can be deadly when eaten by humans or animals and causes an unpleasant feeling as far as the shoulders when touched without protection, the Daily Mail writes. Richard Knight, director of Westmorland Veterinary Group, told the newspaper that contact with the plant could be "very painful" and it was "dangerous to people."