Obscura Society SF: Poisons in the Garden - Atlas Obscura
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San Francisco, California

Obscura Society SF: Poisons in the Garden

Join us at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens for stories of deadly doses & a crash course in identifying poisonous plants

From deadly nightshade and the infamous hemlock to the gorgeously named Brugmansia Charles Grimaldi, poisonous plants hide in plain sight, all around us - Learning to tell botanical friend from foe may help you determine if that lovely houseplant is perfect for seasoning the salad, or just might kill you.

Some deadly plants are local natives and creep into local gardens naturally; others have been cultivated for centuries for their deadly capabilities and specially imported for nefarious purposes. Still others hide their deadly ways behind beautiful blossoms and seductive foliage, luring us into getting close, unaware of their deadly secrets.

Join us for a special exploration in Golden Gate Park's 55 acres of Botanical Gardens seeking the poisonous plants that lurk within. We'll provide stories of deadly doses, hallucinogenic close-calls and mysterious planty demise. Docents from the gardens will lend their expert experience and keen eyes to our search to find the culprits.

Tickets are $18, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to support the ongoing work and projects at the Botanical Gardens.


  • Saturday, April 20 1-4pm
  • Address: San Francisco Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park
  • Tour starts promptly, so please plan to arrive early and allow time for parking. NOTE: Parking in Golden Gate Park on the weekends can be very tough.
  • Meet in front of the gates by the docent/ticket stand at the main entrance to the gardens.
  • Come prepared for lots of walking, potentially over uneven ground
  • IMPORTANT: San Francisco residents - please bring valid ID showing your San Francisco address