Plant Toxicity Trivia Questions and Answers

green ovate leaves with dew drops

1: What is the common chemical defense found in Allium species (like onion and garlic) that is toxic to dogs and cats?
A: Thiosulphate
B: Solanine
C: Cyanogenic glycosides
D: Tannins
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Thiosulphate is the chemical in Allium species that is toxic to dogs and cats.

2: Which compound in asparagus berries can cause abdominal pain and vomiting when ingested in large quantities?
A: Oxalic acid
B: Saponins
C: Amygdalin
D: Myristicin
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Asparagus berries contain furostanol and spirostanol saponins, which can cause abdominal pain and vomiting if ingested rapidly in large quantities.

3: What are the toxins found in the unripened parts of the ackee fruit that can cause hypoglycemia?
A: Cyanogenic glycosides
B: Hypoglycin A and B
C: Cardiac glycosides
D: Ricin
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The unripened parts of the ackee fruit contain hypoglycin A and B, which inhibit enzymes involved in metabolism, leading to hypoglycemia.

4: What are the compounds in citrus rinds that are toxic to dogs and cats?
A: Theobromine and caffeine
B: Limonene and linalool
C: Saponins and alkaloids
D: Cyanogenic glycosides
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Citrus rinds contain limonene and linalool, which are toxic to dogs and cats.

5: During which historical incident did cattle die overnight due to poisonous plants in Australia?
A: 1851 Gold Rush
B: World War II
C: 1907
D: 1914 World Expo
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: In 1907, cattlemen surveyed 700 cattle that were killed overnight by poisonous plants in Australia.

6: What is the neurotoxic amino acid found in Indian pea that can cause neurolathyrism?
A: Amygdalin
B: Myristicin
C: ODAP
D: Solanine
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Indian pea contains ODAP, a neurotoxic amino acid that can cause neurolathyrism.

7: Which part of the apple contains amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside?
A: Flesh
B: Peel
C: Seeds
D: Stems
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The seeds of the apple contain amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside, which is mildly poisonous.

8: Which allergen found in mango leaves and sap can cause dermatitis?
A: Urushiol
B: Pelargonidin
C: Oxalic acid
D: Saponin
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Mango leaves, stems, peels, and sap contain urushiol, an allergen also found in poison ivy that can cause dermatitis.

9: What natural enzyme in cassava liberates hydrogen cyanide from its cyanogenic glycosides?
A: Linamarase
B: Amylase
C: Trypsin
D: Pepsin
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Linamarase is a naturally occurring enzyme in cassava that decomposes its cyanogenic glycosides, releasing hydrogen cyanide.

10: Which psychoactive compound found in nutmeg can lead to hallucinations at high doses?
A: Hypoglycin B
B: Myristicin
C: Solanine
D: Linamarin
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Myristicin is a psychoactive compound in nutmeg that can cause hallucinations at high doses.

11: What toxic lectin is especially concentrated in raw kidney beans?
A: Ricin
B: Saponin
C: Phytohaemagglutinin
D: Solanine
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Raw kidney beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, a toxic lectin that can cause nausea and vomiting.

12: What is the compound in cherry seeds that can release cyanide when metabolized?
A: Solanine
B: Amygdalin
C: Tannins
D: Oxalic acid
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Cherry seeds contain amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside that can release cyanide when metabolized.

13: Which part of the rhubarb plant contains high levels of oxalic acid, making it poisonous?
A: Roots
B: Stalks
C: Leaves
D: Flowers
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The leaves of the rhubarb plant contain high levels of oxalic acid, which is poisonous.

14: The glycoalkaloid solanine is found in which part of the tomato plant?
A: Fruit
B: Seeds
C: Leaves and stems
D: Roots
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Solanine is found in the leaves and stems of the tomato plant and can cause digestive issues and nervous excitement if ingested.

15: What is the primary toxic glycoalkaloid found in potatoes that can cause digestive and neurological symptoms?
A: Myristicin
B: Linamarin
C: Solanine
D: Amygdalin
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Solanine is the primary toxic glycoalkaloid found in potatoes, which can cause digestive upsets and neurological symptoms.

16: What toxic protein is found in the seeds of the castor oil plant?
A: Ricin
B: Abrin
C: Amygdalin
D: Solanine
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Ricin is the highly toxic protein found in the seeds of the castor oil plant.

17: Which plant produced a significant number of cases of fatal poisoning due to a toxin blocking heart muscle calcium ion channels?
A: Oleander
B: Cerbera odollam (suicide tree)
C: Castor bean
D: Autumn crocus
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Cerbera odollam, also known as the “suicide tree,” contains cerberin, which blocks heart muscle calcium ion channels and is often fatal.

18: What toxin causes respiratory distress and often death in livestock when they ingest large quantities of deathcamas?
A: Cyanogenic glycosides
B: Tremetol
C: Alkaloids
D: Abrin
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Deathcamas contains poisonous alkaloids, which can cause severe toxicity and death in livestock.

19: What toxin is responsible for the phototoxic reaction caused by giant hogweed?
A: Solanine
B: Furanocoumarins
C: Abrin
D: Myristicin
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Giant hogweed contains furanocoumarins, which cause phototoxic reactions in human skin upon exposure to sunlight.

20: Which species of plant is reported to cause convulsions, loss of balance, and may be fatal after ingestion?
A: Water hemlock
B: Poison ivy
C: Chrysanthemum
D: Dandelion
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Water hemlock is extremely poisonous and can cause convulsions, loss of balance, and is often fatal after ingestion.

21: Which compound in poinsettia can cause mild irritation if ingested?
A: Cyanogenic glycosides
B: Saponins
C: Latex
D: Alkaloids
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The latex in poinsettia can cause mild skin or stomach irritation if ingested.

22: What toxic symptoms can be caused by the ingestion of yellow oleander?
A: Respiratory depression
B: Cardiac distress and irregular heartbeats
C: Severe itching
D: Blurred vision
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Yellow oleander contains cardiac glycosides that cause cardiac distress and irregular heartbeats.

23: How do the neurotoxic effects of eating nutmeg usually manifest in users?
A: Intense headaches
B: Hallucinations and euphoria
C: Muscle spasms
D: Difficulty in breathing
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Nutmeg intoxication can lead to euphoria and hallucinations due to the neurotoxic effects of myristicin.

24: In which plant part is the highest concentration of alkaloids typically found in Larkspur plants?
A: Leaves
B: Seeds
C: Flowers
D: Roots
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The highest concentration of alkaloids in Larkspur plants is typically found in their seeds.

25: What is the toxic substance found in caladium that can cause severe burning and swelling in the mouth?
A: Urushiol
B: Calcium Oxalate
C: Amygdalin
D: Alkaloids
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Caladium contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause severe burning and swelling in the mouth if ingested.

26: Which plant contains rotenone and has historically been used as a fish poison?
A: Hemlock
B: Dandelion
C: Derris
D: Poinsettia
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Derris contains rotenone, which has historically been used as a fish poison.

27: Which plant’s sap can cause a severe rash through photodermatitis upon exposure to sunlight?
A: Giant Hogweed
B: Poison Ivy
C: Milkweed
D: Belladonna
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Giant Hogweed’s sap can cause severe rashes through photodermatitis when exposed to sunlight.

28: What part of the castor bean contains the deadly toxin ricin?
A: Leaves
B: Flowers
C: Seeds
D: Bark
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The seeds of the castor bean contain the deadly toxin ricin.

29: Which compound found in rhubarb leaves is nephrotoxic and can lead to kidney disorders?
A: Amygdalin
B: Tannins
C: Oxalic acid
D: Solanine
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which is nephrotoxic and can lead to kidney disorders.

30: What is the primary toxin found in poison hemlock that inhibits acetylcholine receptors?
A: Coniine
B: Ricin
C: Myristicin
D: Colchicine
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Coniine is the primary toxin in poison hemlock that inhibits acetylcholine receptors, leading to paralysis and potentially death.

31: Which food commonly used in the tropics must be processed to remove cyanogenic glycosides to avoid poisoning?
A: Cassava
B: Mango
C: Peanuts
D: Potatoes
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Cassava must be processed to remove cyanogenic glycosides to avoid releasing hydrogen cyanide and causing poisoning.

32: What toxic substance is produced by bracken fern that can leach into water supplies and potentially cause cancer?
A: Cyanogenic glycosides
B: Ptyalidin
C: Ptaquiloside
D: Coniine
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Ptaquiloside is a carcinogenic compound produced by the bracken fern, which can leach into water supplies and potentially cause cancer.

33: What substance in hydrangeas is responsible for its moderate toxicity if ingested?
A: Tannins
B: Cyanogenic glycosides
C: Saponins
D: Oxalic acid
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Hydrangeas contain cyanogenic glycosides, which are responsible for their moderate toxicity if ingested.

34: Which plant contains the toxic alkaloid colchicine, often prescribed in low doses for gout?
A: Nutmeg
B: Autumn Crocus
C: Dandelion
D: Hemlock
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Autumn crocus contains the toxic alkaloid colchicine, which, despite its hazards, is used in small doses for treating gout.

35: Symptoms such as stomach pain, vomiting, and progressive paralysis are typically caused by ingestion of which plant?
A: Oleander
B: Poison Hemlock
C: Castor Bean
D: Belladonna
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Ingestion of Poison Hemlock can cause stomach pain, vomiting, and progressive paralysis.

36: Which ornamental plant contains grayanotoxins that can cause nausea, vomiting, and irregular heartbeat?
A: Rhododendron
B: Tulip
C: Poinsettia
D: Hibiscus
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Rhododendron contains grayanotoxins that can cause nausea, vomiting, and irregular heartbeat if ingested.

37: What substances in tomato leaves and stems contribute to their toxicity?
A: Cyanogenic glycosides
B: Solanine and tomatine
C: Saponins
D: Tannins
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Tomato leaves and stems contain solanine and tomatine, which contribute to their toxicity.

38: The attractive, red, and black seeds of which plant contain the lethal toxin abrin?
A: Castor bean
B: Rosary pea (Abrus precatorius)
C: Apple seeds
D: Wisteria
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The red and black seeds of the Rosary pea (Abrus precatorius) contain the highly toxic compound abrin, which can be deadly.

39: In which plant is myristicin found, which can cause hallucinations if ingested in high doses?
A: Nutmeg
B: Hemlock
C: Poison Ivy
D: Caladium
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Myristicin is found in nutmeg and can cause hallucinations when ingested in high doses.

40: Which compound in the deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) causes severe anticholinergic syndrome?
A: Solanine
B: Amygdalin
C: Atropine
D: Colchicine
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Atropine in deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) causes severe anticholinergic syndrome, which includes symptoms like dilated pupils and hallucinations.

41: Which plant’s bright red berries look attractive but can induce heart failure due to their cardio-stimulant compounds?
A: Belladonna
B: Poinsettia
C: White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)
D: Oleander
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) has bright red berries that contain compounds which can induce heart failure.

42: What is the neurotoxic compound in wild carrot that can cause severe symptoms if improperly handled?
A: Cyanogenic glycosides
B: Falcarinol
C: Myristicin
D: Ricin
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Wild carrot contains falcarinol, which is neurotoxic and can cause severe symptoms.

43: Which chemical compound in horse chestnut can cause muscle twitches and sometimes paralysis?
A: Amygdalin
B: Solanine
C: Saponins
D: Aesculin
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Horse chestnut contains aesculin, which can cause muscle twitches and sometimes paralysis.

44: Which plant contains the alkaloid coniine that leads to respiratory muscle paralysis?
A: Rhubarb
B: Belladonna
C: Hemlock
D: Datura
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Hemlock contains the alkaloid coniine, which can lead to respiratory muscle paralysis when ingested.

45: The sap of which plant can cause severe inflammation and even blindness upon contact?
A: Poison Ivy
B: Manchineel
C: Poinsettia
D: Tulip
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: The sap of the Manchineel tree can cause severe inflammation and even blindness upon contact.

46: What compound found in magnolia leaves and sap can cause dermatitis?
A: Urushiol
B: Saponins
C: Myristicin
D: Lactones
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Magnolia leaves and sap contain urushiol, the same compound found in poison ivy, which can cause dermatitis.

47: Which plant’s seeds have been used historically for treating parasites and have led to fatalities due to their toxic githagin and agrostemmic acid content?
A: Corn Cockle (Agrostemma githago)
B: Nutmeg
C: Tomato
D: Olives
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Corn Cockle seeds contain githagin and agrostemmic acid, which are toxic and have been used historically for treating parasites but can lead to fatalities.

48: Which compound in deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) acts as a powerful anticholinergic causing severe symptoms?
A: Solanine
B: Ricin
C: Atropine
D: Saponins
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Atropine is a powerful anticholinergic found in deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) that causes severe symptoms.

49: Poisoning from which plant causes symptoms similar to those of arsenic poisoning due to colchicine?
A: Belladonna
B: Yew
C: Autumn crocus
D: Foxglove
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Colchicine poisoning from the autumn crocus causes symptoms similar to those of arsenic poisoning.

50: From which part of the milkweed plant does the cardiac glycoside poisoning typically originate?
A: Seeds
B: Leaves and stems
C: Roots
D: Flowers
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Cardiac glycosides in milkweed typically originate from the leaves and stems, causing poisoning if ingested.

51: Which plant uses its highly toxic sap as a method for hunting by the Meridian High and Hadza tribes?
A: Poison Ivy
B: Sagebrush
C: Desert Rose (Adenium obesum)
D: Henbane
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: The Desert Rose (Adenium obesum) uses its highly toxic sap for hunting, a method used by the Meridian High and Hadza tribes.

52: Why is it dangerous to handle giant hogweed during sunny days?
A: Causes severe rashes due to photosensitivity
B: Attracts dangerous insects
C: Releases airborne toxins
D: Burns through the skin on contact
Correct Answer: A
Explanation: Handling giant hogweed during sunny days is dangerous because it causes severe rashes due to photosensitivity.

53: The leaves and stems of which common garden vegetable contain solanine, a toxic glycoalkaloid?
A: Carrot
B: Potato
C: Lettuce
D: Radish
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Potato leaves and stems contain solanine, a toxic glycoalkaloid.

54: What is the toxic effect of the cardiac glycosides found in foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)?
A: Kidney failure
B: Cardiac arrest
C: Liver damage
D: Respiratory failure
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Cardiac glycosides in foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) can cause cardiac arrest.

55: Which poisonous plant can irritate the eyes to the point of causing temporary blindness if its sap gets into them?
A: Poinsettia
B: Oleander
C: Euphorbia (any species)
D: Sunflower
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Euphorbia species’ sap can irritate the eyes, causing temporary blindness if it gets into them.

56: Which cancer-causing compound is found in the bracken fern and can contaminate water supplies?
A: Phorbol esters
B: Ptaquiloside
C: Cardiac glycosides
D: Saponins
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Ptaquiloside is a carcinogenic compound in bracken ferns that can contaminate water supplies and potentially cause cancer.

57: Which alpine plant is known for its beautiful flowers but contains andromedotoxin, making it lethal if ingested?
A: Edelweiss
B: Snowdrop
C: Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
D: Alpine rose (Rhododendron ferrugineum)
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: Alpine rose (Rhododendron ferrugineum) contains andromedotoxin, making it lethal if ingested.

58: The berries of which common ornamental plant can cause serious kidney damage if ingested by humans?
A: Holly
B: Ivy
C: Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia spp.)
D: Spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus)
Correct Answer: D
Explanation: The fruit of the spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus) can cause serious kidney damage if ingested by humans.

59: What is the primary toxic effect of bufadienolides found in the Kalanchoe species?
A: Respiratory failure
B: Cardiac poisoning
C: Skin rashes
D: Liver damage
Correct Answer: B
Explanation: Bufadienolides found in Kalanchoe species cause cardiac poisoning.

60: What compound in the berries and bark of the yew tree contributes to its high level of toxicity?
A: Solanine
B: Colchicine
C: Taxanes
D: Myristicin
Correct Answer: C
Explanation: Taxanes are the compounds in the berries and bark of the yew tree that contribute to its high toxicity.


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