This Is What the 'World's Most Dangerous' Shrub, the 'Suicide Plant,' Looks Like

One innocent-looking plant harbors an agonizing secret, as a single brush of its leaves is enough to cause excruciating pain for months.

The Dendrocnide Moroides is known as "the world's most dangerous plant," with even morphine rendered ineffective against its venom, Nature reports.

The shrub has numerous names including the Gympie Gympie, Stinging Bush, Queensland Stinger and the Giant Australian Stinging Tree. It has also been called the "suicide plant," website Discovery noted.

Like one of its names suggests, the plant is native to the rainforests of Australia, and can grow up to 115 feet tall.

It delivers a painful sting via tiny hairs covering the leaves and stem, which inject venom into the skin.

Rebecca Ireland's photo of the Dendrocnide Moroides
Rebecca Ireland's photo of the Dendrocnide Moroides she saw at Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden. Rebecca Ireland

Nature explained: "When a passer-by brushes against the tree, the needles can inject their skin with a venom causing intense pain that sometimes lasts months and resists even morphine."

So painful and persistent are the effects of the "suicide plant," signs are often posted along forest tracks, particularly in Queensland, warning hikers and tourists of the danger lurking ahead.

A similar sign was erected next to the plant at Lullingstone Castle and The World Garden in England, which was displaying one of the vicious cuttings for tourists.

Next to the small shrub, which was in a cage, a sign read: "Danger. 'The world's most dangerous plant.' One touch can induce nine months of intense re-occurring throbbing pain! [sic]"

Visitor Rebecca Ireland snapped the foliage, and shared it to Reddit captioned: "The world's most dangerous plant!"

Ireland, from the U.K., told Newsweek she'd "never heard" of the plant before—which bears edible fruit.

She said: "Honestly I thought it was terrifying not because of what it does, but because of how innocuous looking it is."

The image soon amassed thousands of views and comments, as people echoed Ireland's thoughts over how innocent the plant appears.

FirstSineOfMadness noted: "'The suicide plant' is one of the names listed. Damn lol."

Kitsua explained: "Apparently there was some soldier who used the leaves as toilet paper who ended up killings themselves."

Explaining more, Reddit user PM_BMW_turn_signals commented: "'Like being burned by hot acid and electrocuted at the same time. One ex-serviceman, Cyril Bromley, fell into one of the plants during WWII training exercises, and he ended up strapped to a hospital bed, 'as mad as a cut snake.' Bromley also told a story of an officer who unknowingly used a leaf as toilet paper. He ended up shooting himself.'"

WebsterPack shared: "Was with a woman who was stung on a bushwalk. She just brushed it across her ankle by accident. She said she'd prefer to give birth again."

Commenting on its storage at the English castle, bikemaul asked: "How long until some YouTube guy comes along and touches it for views?"

Explaining more about the shrub, Sciences Advances said: "Australia notoriously harbors some of the world's most venomous animals, but although less well known, its venomous flora is equally remarkable.

"Of the six Dendrocnide species native to the subtropical and tropical forests of Eastern Australia, D. excelsa (lit. tall stinging tree) and D. moroides (lit. mulberry-like stinging tree) are particularly notorious for producing excruciatingly painful stings, which—unlike those of their European and North American relatives—can cause symptoms that last for days or weeks in extreme cases.

"D. moroides has been implicated in hospitalization of two individuals requiring intensive care for 36 hours who suffered from acute pain that reportedly did not respond to morphine and ongoing symptoms lasting months."