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Describe A Poisonous Plant You Know About - IELTS Cue Card

Yocket Editorial Team

Are you a study abroad aspirant, wishing to gain outstanding educational opportunities, job prospects, and a high ROI? If yes, you must know that the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are necessary for non-native English speakers to pursue higher education overseas.

One of its sections, the IELTS Speaking Part 2 is considered the trickiest. Here, you are given cue cards upon which you must speak for approximately two minutes. The examiners assess your English proficiency by analyzing your coherence and vocabulary while you deliver your answer. In this blog, we've covered one of the most popular cue cards - describe a poisonous plant you know about. Going through this blog will increase your familiarity with this particular card, and help you formulate your answers based on the important points.

If you want to study abroad, you must know that different universities have different IELTS band requirements. With Yocket Premium’s AI-based tools and premium counseling services, you can connect with applicants who have secured admission to your dream universities. You can ask them what IELTS band scores are acceptable at those universities and inquire about their journey. Yocket has 9+ years of experience in assisting study-abroad aspirants secure admissions to the top 200 universities worldwide. Reap the advantages of this experience by Becoming A Premium Yocketer Today!

Table of Contents

Why are IELTS Cue Cards Important?

The IELTS cue cards are an essential part of the speaking section of the exam. They are prompts that provide you with a topic to talk about for two minutes. Here's why they are important!

Describe A Poisonous Plant You Know About: Sample Answer 1

A person with minimal interest in the subject of plants would be surprised by the incredible diversity of plants. Certain plants are poisonous if eaten, while others are carnivorous and cure illnesses. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to discuss a poisonous plant, as the plant I will talk about is consumed almost every day.

  • What is the name of the plant?

Several plants I have seen or heard about can trigger allergies and irritation when touched, and several can induce vomiting and diarrhea if ingested in any way. All of these plants seem poisonous to me if not handled carefully. That said, I was shocked to discover that tomato plants are toxic.

  • Where is it found?

Tomatoes are grown worldwide, thanks to their adaptability to different climates. They thrive in warm, sunny weather, but can also be grown in greenhouses in cooler climates. Predominantly, they are abundantly grown in regions of Asia, such as India and China.

  • How do you know about it?

I read about the toxicity of the tomato plant while perusing the "Journal of Plant Physiology" journal. Biologically tomato is a fruit but for culinary purposes, it is a vegetable. Tomatoes are used in various cuisines, and practically every kitchen is familiar with it.

  • Benefits and side effects of the plant.

However, the solanine found in tomato leaves and stems is poisonous if consumed, leading to nervous excitement and upset stomach. Animals such as dogs may also become poisoned by tomato plants if they consume the fruit in excess or gnaw on its parts. On the other hand, ripe tomatoes provide several benefits. It has lycopene, an antioxidant that aids in the prevention of cancer. Moreover, vitamins and potassium are also abundant in tomatoes.

  • Conclusion

Eating tomatoes is great, but we should not eat the leaves or stems. The tomato is a plant with poisonous foliage but it’s an extremely beneficial fruit.

Describe A Poisonous Plant You Know About - Sample Answer 2

Have you ever smelled a plant that has an overbearing and disagreeable odor? If so, there's a good likelihood that you've encountered a poisonous plant. Today, I want to discuss one such heavily consumed toxic plant.

  • What is the name of the plant?

Nicotiana tabacum, also known as "tobacco," is the plant I'm talking about. Although most people are aware of it because it is commonly used in nicotine products and cigarettes, they do not realize the intensity of its dangerous effects. The principal uses for dried tobacco leaves are in pipes, shishas, cigarettes, and cigars. They can also be consumed as snuff, chewing tobacco, dipping it and snus.

  • Where is it found?

The tobacco plant is found and grows almost anywhere in the world, despite being native to America, Australia, South West Africa, and the South Pacific. But warm, dry climates like those in Brazil, China, and India are ideal for their growth.

  • How do you know about it?

Primarily, I learned about this plant from TV commercials and conversations on the harmful effects tobacco plants and products have on the environment and human health. Otherwise, I've also read about it in various books, magazines, and newspapers.

  • Benefits and side effects of the plant.

Anabasine, a harmful toxin, is present in tree tobacco. This may result in severe vomiting, breathing difficulties, seizures, high blood pressure, brain damage, severe muscle weakness and spasms, and even death. Moreover, both harmala alkaloids and the highly addictive stimulant alkaloid nicotine are derived from tobacco plants, which are used to make cigarettes. Smoking tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels, leading to heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Additionally, it is a leading cause of cancer, addiction, and other health problems such as weakened immune systems and diabetes.

On the flip side, tobacco plants have been instrumental in scientific advancements, particularly in the field of plant genetics. Also, some research suggests that nicotine may have neuroprotective properties. Lastly, the tobacco plant contains natural insecticides that can help repel pests. This is helpful for gardeners and farmers looking for organic pest control methods.

  • Conclusion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that tobacco use is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. Overall, if you are considering using tobacco products, it is important to be aware of the health risks involved. There are many resources available to help you quit smoking or use other tobacco products to help overcome addiction.

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Describe A Poisonous Plant You Know About - Sample Answer 3

India has a wide variety of poisonous plant species which is used for medicinal purposes. For my cue card today, "Describe a poisonous plant you know about," I'm going to discuss a flowering plant native to the American tropics and belongs to the verbena family (Verbenaceae).

  • What is the name of the plant?

Lantana Camara is the name of the plant. Its stunning clusters of flowers, which come in a range of colors including red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple, have made it a well-liked ornamental plant. As the blossoms mature, they change color and produce a beautiful multicolored effect.

  • Where is it found?

In India, Lantana Camara is predominantly found in the Shivalik hills, Central India, and Southern Western Ghats.  They can adjust to many climates and can withstand dampness and high temperatures.

  • How do you know about it?

I saw and learned about this plant while on vacation in the Indian hills of Meghalaya. I visited a botanical park that showcased Latana Camaras's characteristics and identified it as an ornamental plant.

  • Benefits and side effects of the plant.

Lantana Camaras offers several benefits, including helping numerous insects and birds cross-pollinate. Its leaves can be used to produce oil and is used to treat blood pressure, chicken pox, malaria, and wound healing. Despite the plant's many advantages, it is considered an invasive species in many parts of the world due to its capacity to grow in varied environments and outcompete native plants for resources. Furthermore, handling lantanas cautiously is necessary because their contact can cause serious skin irritation. In addition, the plant's toxic berries can induce diarrhea, vomiting, and respiratory issues.

  • Conclusion

Despite being extremely toxic, Lantana camara has incredible therapeutic benefits in Ayurveda for various ailments.

Describe A Poisonous Plant You Know About - Sample Answer 4

India is rich in flora and fauna, making it home to hundreds of healthy and poisonous plants. Nevertheless, despite their harmful properties, many toxic plants also have advantages. For my cue card on "Describe a poisonous plant you know about", I would like to talk about one that Indians use for cooking.

  • What is the name of the plant?

The castor oil plant, also called the castor bean plant, is a flowering plant that belongs to the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. Although it originated in tropical East Africa, this plant has spread throughout the world's tropical and subtropical regions. This shrub grows quickly, reaching a maximum height of 40 feet. The plant features spikey clusters of yellowish-green blooms and huge, palmately lobed leaves. Castor oil comes from castor beans, which are produced by the castor oil plant.

  • Where is it found?

India is one of the leading producers of castor oil seeds and the plant is grown in many regions across the country. The regions with the highest concentration of this plant are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. After harvesting, this plant is also exported.

  • How do you know about it?

Indians utilize castor oil as a natural medicine to treat skin, gynecological, and other health ailments. For decades, the oil extracted from castor beans has been a medicinal remedy for many skin and bodily ailments, including leprosy and birth control. However, long-term or high dosage consumption is harmful to health and results in fluid loss from the body. Also, the poison found in the outer layer of castor seeds is lethal and can lead to nausea, abdominal pain, liver and kidney damage, among other symptoms. 

  • Benefits and side effects of the plant.

In all, the castor oil plant is a versatile shrub. While its seeds contain a powerful laxative, the processed oil finds uses in everything from cosmetics to industrial lubricants.

Sample/Follow-Up Questions and Answers

The examiner will pose some follow-up questions to address the cue card topic. This interactive dialogue allows you to elaborate on your point of view. Find the pertinent follow-up questions for the cue card "Describe a poisonous plant you know about" below, which can help you prepare.

Q1. Mostly, where do these poisonous plants grow?

A1. Toxic plants are typically grown in wetlands, fields, and forests. These even flourish in some backyards and parks in suburban regions.

Q2. How do you manage/prevent these poisonous plants?

A2. When working with poisonous plants, extreme caution is recommended. Skin irritation can be minimized by wearing protective gloves and clothing. It is mandatory to wash your hands and clothes afterward. Labeled bulbs and seeds should always be kept out of the reach of kids, pets, and food storage areas.

Q3.  What can one do if exposed to a poisonous plant?

A3. You can wash the affected area with soap, detergent, or rubbing alcohol to stop the infection from spreading. Using a brush to clean underneath the nails is also essential. And, if the toxication still spreads or manifests as a medical condition, seeking medical care can help. 

Q4. Can we repurpose diseased plant soil?

A4. To prevent the spread of pests or diseases from the contaminated plant, it is always advisable to sterilize the soil before utilizing it again. The crop stays longer and grows healthily as a result of this approach.

Q5. Can toxic substances be released by plants?

A5. Plants can release chemical molecules into the soil through their roots, where they can occasionally break down or change. A few of these poisons even cause harm to nearby plants' roots.

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Tips to Answer the IELTS Cue Card

Take the one-minute prep time to brainstorm your thoughts. Think of 2-3 main points you want to cover and an example or two for each. Don't just focus on listing the bullet points, but use them as a springboard for your ideas. Refer to the tips below to ace the IELTS cue card section.


Although considered one of the hardest sections on the IELTS, speaking part 2 can be aced by planning and practicing ardently. Your speech content will give the examiners an assessment of your communication and language proficiency. The four examples of poisonous plants you know about above can be used to formulate your response and express your knowledge about uncommon subjects.

Preparing for the IELTS is the easiest feat. You must be familiar with the format, sections, and duration. Moreover, you must remember that the accepted IELTS scores vary university-wise. For personalized interaction and support, you can speak with our Yocket experts. Not only will they resolve your queries regarding studying abroad, but also help you find suitable courses and apply to universities, find scholarships, and apply for visas, amongst other things.

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