A Photographic project by Lindsey Harris

A portfolio of six images illustrating the hidden and transient beauty of some of the UK’s most poisonous plants, found and photographed growing wild in southern England.

On display at RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show 2021
18th September – 9th October 2021 

I was awarded a RHS Silver-Gilt Medal for this portfolio of images.

Lindsey Harris' RHS Silver-Gilt medal, awarded for a portfolio of 6 images of poisonous plants
Aconitum napellus (monkshood)

Aconitum napellus

Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade)

Deadly nightshade
Atropa belladonna

Euphorbia amygdaloides (wood spurge)

Wood spurge
Euphorbia amygdaloides

Conium maculatum (hemlock)

Conium maculatum

Hyoscyamus niger (henbane)

Hyoscyamus niger

Digitalis purpurea (common foxglove)

Common foxglove
Digitalis purpurea

About the UK’s Most Poisonous Plants Photographic Project

Started in May 2017, this photo project has been both mentally and physically challenging, but extremely rewarding. Some of these plants are now extremely rare in the wild; if their habitat changes they will vanish from the landscape almost overnight.

On a Berkshire hillside I discovered a lone colony of Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade) that had been deliberately poisoned, and Hyoscyamus niger (henbane) now appears to only grow in one (possibly two) places in my native Dorset. Despite reports from a few years ago of Aconitum napellus (monkshood) growing wild in Dorset, I couldn’t find a single specimen.

Identifying possible locations for these beautiful plants comprised many hours of desk-based research, plus often speculative trekking through ancient woods, streams, fields, hillsides, sand dunes and scrubland.

I had to make repeated trips to find and photograph some plants, carrying cumbersome amounts of photographic equipment each time. Several specimens were, quite literally, growing ‘in the middle of nowhere’ and it’s hard to describe the elation I felt when I spotted a rare plant for the first time.

As I write this (September 2021) this Project has comprised four years in the making, with over 2000 miles of travelling/walking across six counties. This had to be put on hold during the Pandemic, but I will be continuing with my wild-growing poisonous plant photographs in 2022.

Photographic locations: Berkshire, Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.


Mounted prints in various sizes are available to purchase. Framing by arrangement. Please contact me for more information.

18th September – 9th October 2021

Monday – Sunday* 10am – 6pm
(*Thursdays 10am – 9pm)

My ‘UK’s Most Poisonous Plants’ portfolio photos will be on display at the Saatchi Gallery, in London, as part of the RHS Botanical Art & Photography Show 2021.

Saatchi Gallery
Duke of York’s HQ
King’s Road

Interpretation panel - The UK's Most Poisonous Plants

Download interpretation panel.

Grateful thanks to the following…

Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland (BSBI) (location help)
Stu Culley Photo Services & Paul Williams (printing)
Graphfix (graphic design)

Picture Framing Dorset (mounts for framing)
Mike Read (checking plant naming conventions)
Dick & Jill Greenaway (location help)