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The purple hubcap was a species of flora that was known to be poisonous.
Purple hubcap cultivation was illegal in the Federation; they were used to murder Metraux, as discovered by the False Vacuum Squadron. Normally purple hubcaps took several days to kill their consumers, whereas, mixed with narcotics, they could kill much faster. (Star Trek: False Vacuum: "Arthur Porter and the Corpse of Azkapanama")