Skip to main content

"Poisonous" does not mean deadly. Some manifestations of toxicity are subtle. The dose, as always, determines if a plant is safe source of nutrients or a toxic hazard.

Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

Simple keyword search (one or two words only)


BRIEF: Does this situation seem reasonable?

I am working on a WebQuest education tool for my English 422 class. This WebQuest is basically taking Hamlet and converting it to a murder mystery...the students just know that there are a lot of dead bodies, and they have to go through the "documents"(sections of the play) and biological information to find out what happened. Shakespeare does mention that henbane was one of the poisons used. However, there is a second poison, possibly plant based, that is unnamed. The poison takes effect by entering the bloodstream (Laertes cut Hamlet with a sword coated by the poison to kill him), and is fatal, with a fairly quick response time. Because it would be too confusing to the students, I would like to not use hebenon. I was thinking either nightshade or death camas would fit, but I would like to hear from someone more knowledgable in the field. Do you have any suggestions that would fit the criteria?


I do not think either nightshade or death camas would do this at the dose administered on the blade of a sword.