There space many species of gift berries, however these are few of the world’s most deadly – well at the very least in the temperate northern hemisphere.

*** CAUTION! If girlfriend or who you know has been one unknown berry, call your local poison regulate IMMEDIATELY! This post is not intended come be medical advice.

The good news is, that there are many poisonous berries the end there that most likely won’t death you. In fact, many have traditionally been provided as medicine. Ns think i should add that this is no an invite to run roughly playing Russian Roullete through unknown berries. Assuming that you are only trying them the end to ward off starvation, her body is walk to it is in extra perceptible to any kind of toxins. Throwing up any type of precious food or water the you’ve collected, or subjecting yourself to debilitating impacts such as seizures is not going to aid your situation. If you room in such a dire situation that you have to test the end an unknown berry, usage the global edibility check outlined in the video below.


However, by discovering the many deadly berries in your area, you might gain some understanding on what to avoid and also save you yourself some priceless time and also discomfort by skip them because that the edibility test.

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Note that if you space going to wandering the tropics, her list is going come look rather different. Also note that there room plenty that poisonous berries below that i haven’t listed.

So without more ado, I bring you few of the temperate word’s most deadly berries.

DEADLY NIGHTSHADE (Atropa belladona)

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Deadly nightshade berry and also flowers. Image by S Hermann and also F. Richter indigenous Pixabay. Windy Domain

Other Names

Belladona, devil’s cherries

About

On the peak of the list of gift berries is just one of the many dangerous. All parts of fatal nightshade space poisonous, but the berries room sweet and juicy, making them attractive to children and unwary foragers. Despite the name, they space not in reality true nightshades (I’ll get to those later).  Deadly nightshade has actually been supplied throughout background as a poison – one early type of organic warfare. That is additionally important in mythology and folklore. Like plenty of poisonous plants, tiny doses have actually been offered in medicine throughout history, and also in modern medicine.

Description

General: around 1.5 metres tall.Leaves: Dull green, farming in an alternating pattern. Untoothed and also elliptical in shape. Click here for a quick brush increase on leaf terminology.Flowers:Purple eco-friendly colour, bell-shaped, 2.5–3cm in length.Berries: Shiny black color in colour, 1.5 cm in diameter, sweet-tasting, 5 distinctive sepals grow at the basic of berry.

Range

Native to southern Europe and Asia, yet introduced to various other parts that the word, including the US.

Symptoms and Toxicity

Can cause rapid heartbeat, dilated pupils, delirium, vomiting, hallucinations, and death as result of respiratory failure. As small as 600 mg can cause symptoms.That’s much less than one berry.

YEW (Taxus spp.)

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Image byStux via Pixabay
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Image byJenő Szabó via Pixabay

Other Names

Ground hemlock

About

Yew berries are not actually berries, yet modified cones – cones the look pretty inviting come a son or hungry forager. Yew is a conifer; however, unlike many conifers the yield edible needles (for wonderful vitamin C affluent tea), all parts of the plant room poisonous, especially the seed. Yew’s key toxin, taxol, is used in chemotherapy – a truth that has caused overharvesting, leaving part yew varieties threatened or endangered. Synthetic taxol is now developed in labs, but yew populations have actually yet to feather back.

Description

General: Evergreen shrub or little tree, cultivation from 2 come 18 m in height. Leaves: Flat, spicy needles, evergreen.Berries: From much away show up to be small, round, red berries. On closer inspection, castle resemble a cup with a single hard seed in the middle.

Range

Yew grows wild all over the temperate northern hemisphere, and some subtropical regions. That is likewise grown as an ornamental.

Symptoms and also Toxicity

Ingestion that any part of the yew plant can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, ab pain, impaired vision, muscle spasms, Ataxia, diarrhea, hypotension, hypothermia, coma, seizures, weakness, respiratory tract failure, love palpitations and also cardiogenic shock. 50 g of needles is thought about enough to be a lethal dose.

RED and also WHITE BANEBERRY (Actaea rubra) and also (Actaea pachypoda)


Other Names

White baneberry: doll’s eyes, white cohosh, toadroot, white beads, necklace weedsRed baneberry: red cohosh, snakeberry


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Red baneberry. Picture source: USDA NRCS tree Database, publicly Domain

About

Baneberry is suitably named. Both types will cause burning come the mouth – no pleasant, but likewise a good warning to not eat them. Castle aren’t toxic to birds (as with plenty of berries ~ above this list), so nothing be fooled if you watch some feathered girlfriend chowing down on them. That is often sold together an ornamental (sometimes under the name Cimicifugs) for this reason beware if you have actually yew in her yard. The genus Actaea includes 30 species, every one of which are toxic. One more well well-known poisonous berry, black color cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is also included in the genus.

Description

General: Both plants room herbaceous perennials (they die ago and regrow every year). They grow up to 120 cm tall, however usually a an excellent deal smaller.Leaves: deeply lobed v coarse teeth, can be compound or basic (both regularly both are discovered on the very same plant).Flowers: Both plants have white flowers cultivation in rounded clusters. Every flower has actually 3-5 sepals that are 2-4 mm long and also 5-10 petals. Berries: Red baneberries space red and shiny, fleshy, and typically 5-11 mm long. Grow in clusters at finish of stems. White baneberries room white with black dots on optimal (hence the name dolls eyes). Prosper in clusters at the end of eco-friendly or pink stems and are 6.5-9 mm long. Stems are substantially thicker than those that red baneberry.

Range

Red baneberry: Canada and Northern joined States.White baneberry: Eastern joined States and Canada Canada; subtropic, temperate, and also subarctic areas of Europe, Asia, and also North America.

Symptoms and Toxicity

As few as 2 berries can cause serious symptoms. Most sources quote the six have the right to be sufficient to kill an adult. Baneberry can reason bloody diarrhea, delirium, dizziness, stomach cramps, vomiting, respiratory tract distress, and also cardiac arrest.

LILY the THE valley (Convallaria majalis)

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Image by rose oil Wilhelm Thomé. Public DomainImage through Borealis55. Publicly Domain via Wikimedia Commons
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Image through Mona El Falaky. Windy Domain via Pixabay

Other Names

may bells, our Lady’s tears, Mary’s tears

About

If you room a Breaking Bad fan, you may have heard the lily of the valley’s toxicity. All components of it space pretty poisonous. North America’s wild lily of the valley and false lily of the sink – both belonging to the Maianthmum genus – are not regarded C. Majalis.

Description

General: Lily of the sink is a perennial that grows in huge colonies in wooded areas. That is stem is around 15-30 tall.Leaves: One or 2 leaves, roughly 12-25 cm long and also 3-8 centimeter wide, thrive from near the basic of the stem. Choose all lilies, C. Majalis has parallel veins.Flower: 6-10 mm in diameter and kind a bell form with 6 white sepals (resembling petals in this case). Fragrant smell.Fruit: Orange-red berries, 5-7 mm in diameter

Range

Lily that the sink is indigenous to temperate regions of Europe and also Asia. However, the is a common ornamental plant and can be uncovered in gardens. A variety (Convallaria majalis var. montana) grows wild in Georgia, Kentucky, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and also West Virginia.

Symptoms and Toxicity

Ingesting any component of lily the the valley will certainly cause ab pains, headache, nausea, pupil dilation, vomiting, irregular love rate, skin rash, seizures, and also cold and clammy skin. If enough is ingested, the can reason heart failure, coma and death. As small as 2 leaves deserve to be lethal. Try as a might, i couldn’t discover the lethal dosage for berries, however I think we’d best assume the it’s no many.

MOONSEED (Menispermum canadense)

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Moonseed berries and leaves. Image source: faith Fyles, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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Moonseed seeds. Image source: USDA-NRCS tree Database

Other Names

Canadian moonseed, typical moonseed, yellow parilla.

About

Moonseed have the right to be mistaken because that grapes. However, all parts of the moonseed are poisonous, particularly the fruit. Choose the baneberry, castle taste bad, for this reason if you discover yourself eating a terrible grape, nothing – simply don’t.

Description

General: Woody rise vine through grape-like leaves and also grape-like berries. Can flourish to end 4 m tall.Leaves: Palmately lobed v 3-7 lobes and also are around 5-10 centimeter in diameter.Flowers: Female and also male flowers thrive in separate clusters on either the same or various plants. Both are white, bell-shaped, and around 6 mm across. Flourish in rounded branched swarm that room up to 13 cm long. Every flower has actually 3-5 sepals that room 2-4 mm and 5-10 petals shorter petals. Berries: Berries space purple come black and also around 1-1.5 centimeter in diameter (like many types of wild grapes).

Distinguishing mooonseed native grapes: The most reliable distinction in the actual fruit is the crescent-shaped seed. Moonseed additionally lacks the grape’s forked tendrils. Grape leaves have actually toothed leaves, when those of Moonseed do not. Moonseed leaves also have a smother surface than grape leaves. Because that an explanation that tendril vs. Line vines view this summary from well Gardening.

Range

North America from southerly Canada to Florida.

Symptoms and also Toxicity

Ingestions can reason convulsions, and also in rare cases, death.I couldn’t find any kind of accessible, reliable resources that approximated lethal doses or how countless one requirements to eat to suffer symptoms.

EUROPEAN SPINDLE (Euonymous europaeus)

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European spindle fruit. Image byGoran Horvatvia Pixabay
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European spindle fruit and also leavesImage byWolfgang Claussenvia Pixabay
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European spindle flower. Image Public Domain indigenous Pixabay

Other Names

Spindletree, european spindletree, europe euonymus, common spindletree.

About

The europe spindle is a big tree or little shrub growing on first edges and in disturbed areas and floodplains. Pink capsules surround one orange seed. It’s not technically a berry, but, prefer a few others top top this list, I’ve contained it because it looks favor one. Those shining colours make it a famous ornamental. The leaves and bark are likewise poisonous.

Description

General: roughly 3-8 m tall, growing upright. Leaves: carefully toothed, elliptical, 4-8 centimeter long, and arranged oppositely. Flowers: Small, yellow-green, with four petals.Berries: Four-lobed glowing pink or purple capsule. The capsule breaks open in the fall to disclose an orange seed. Seeds space 12 mm in diameter.

Range

Native to most of Europe. It’s been presented throughout much of east US and also Canada and has end up being invasive in part areas.

Symptoms and Toxicity

Causes elevated love rate, convulsions, diarrhea, hallucination, vomiting, and also death. Supposedly, thirty capsules are a fatal sheep in adults, yet I once again, i cannot uncover the primary resource for such a claim.Suffice to say, girlfriend shouldn’t shot them.

HOLLY (Ilex aquifolium)

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Holly flower. Image byvictoriamewvia Pixabay
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Holly fruit and also leaves. Photo bydendoktoorvia Pixabay

Other Names

Christmas holly, typical holly, typical European holly, English holly

About

There room over 600 varieties of holly, many of which room poisonous, however I am focussing top top English holly here due to the fact that it is the one that poses the greatest risk. The reason: Christmas. With its evergreen leaves and also bright red berries, holly is an top Christmas decoration. It’s also a well-known ornamental tree in gardens. Due to the fact that many of mine readers space American, ns should add that American holly (Ilex opaca) look at similar. The united state forest company states that it is not taken into consideration poisonous, but other sources disagree. Mine guess is they space at the very least a little poisonous and you should not eat them, especially because they resemble their European cousin.

Description

General: The plants themselves are 7-10 m tall. Holly is dioecious, meaning it has actually male and female plants.Leaves: distinct waxy, evergreen leaves with wavy edges, 3-8 cm long. Covered with sharp spines.Flowers: small and white with four petals. Male flowers are also smaller and also pale yellow. Male flowers do not create berries.Berries: The “berries” are actually drupes, however look a whole lot like berries. They room red or yellow and grow in clusters.

Range

Native to Europe, northern Africa, and the center East. Presented to the West coastline of north America, and a small population in Massachusetts.

Symptoms and Toxicity

The key toxin, ilicin reasons nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and sleepiness. A lethal sheep is approximated at 20 berries for children, yet as soon as again, ns can’t find the primary resource of this statistic. Just don’t eat it.

EUROPEAN MISTLETOE (Viscum album)

Other Names

common mistletoe, mistletoe

About

While mistletoes colloquially refers to European mistletoe, mistletoe refers to a variety of parasitic plants that acquire water and also nutrients from trees. Mistletoe is a well-known player in ancient myth and also legends, which eventually led to its use as a Christmas decoration and also the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. Despite its toxicity, that has likewise traditionally been provided as medicine, and currentresearch suggests several potential uses consisting of fighting hypertension, arthritis, and also cancer. American mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) looks similar but is substantially less toxic (still, don’t eat it).

Description

General: grow in a dense evergreen shrub approximately 1 m by 1 m, most regularly in apple, polar, willow, linden, and hawthorn trees.Leaves: Lance-shaped, leathery, approx. 5 cm long.Berries: White v one seed, ripen native November come December.

Range

Europe, north Africa, central Asia, and Japan.

Symptoms and also Toxicity

Eating a small number of berries can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Larger amounts have resulted in seizures, hypotension, hepatitis, coma, and also cardiac arrest.

DAPHNE SPP. (focus on Daphne laureola)

Other Names

Spurge laurel

About

There are 75-90 types in the Daphne genus, every poisonous, but I will certainly be focussing top top Daphne laureola (spurge laurel) here due to the fact that it is a renowned ornamental and has made that onto the list of invasive tree in many areas of phibìc America.

Description

General: every Daphne spp. Grow up come 1.5 m tall. Leaves: most Daphne species are lance-shaped, glossy, dark green, and grow in whorls. Spurge laurel is evergreen, but some Daphne plants are deciduous.Flowers: Daphne spp. Shave a selection of flower colours. Spurge laurel has actually yellow-green, farming in clusters. Berries: Daphne spp. Berries can be red, yellow or black. Spurge laurel berries room 8-12 mm long, black and also juicy. Other

Range

Spurge laurel is aboriginal to southwest Europe and also has become invasive in western north America. Other types of Daphne spp. Are aboriginal to Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Symptoms and also Toxicity

All components of the Daphne plant space poisonous. Sloop down can cause nausea, bloody diarhea thirst, ede of the tongue, and also coma. There is at least one recorded death on record after a boy ate the berries. Call with the sap can cause severe irritation and also blistering.

AMERICAN POKEBERRY (Phytolacca americana)

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Pokeberry. Image by Wikimedia Images. Publicly domain
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Pokeberry tree in flower. Image by Wikimedia Images. Windy domain
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Pokeberry flowers. Image by Wikimedia Images. Public domain

Other Names

Pokeweed, American pokeweed, bag root, Virginia poke, pigeonberr,y inkberry, redweed, red octopus plant, American nightshade, American spinach, bear’s grape, cancer-root, coakum, garget, inkweed, pigeonberry, poke, common pokeberry, usual pokeweed, pokeroot, red-ink plant, skoke berry.

About

Pokeberry is featured prominently in folklore and traditional medicine, and also research is underway because that applications in modern medicine. It can also be offered as a dye. Some other plants in the genus Phytolacca are additionally known as pokeberry. All varieties of Phytolacca spp. Space toxic.

Description

General: Grows approximately 7 m tall, however usually 1-3 m. The stem is pinkish red and partially hollow.Leaves: 20-35 cm long, thin, lance-shaped. They room dark on top with lighter green and also pink veins top top undersides and also produce an acrid smell once crushed.Flowers: White or pale green, sometimes with a pinkish or purplish tinge, farming in clusters.Berries. Black. 6-11 mm in diameter growing on distinctive bright pink stalks. Could be mistaken for grapes.

Range

Eastern US, midwest, southwest Canada and also the Gulf coast. Some populations in the west US.

Symptoms and Toxicity

Though the leaves room edible when cooked correctly, they, along with the rest of the plant, are poisonous as soon as raw. Eating several berries can cause pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Although rare, deaths have been recorded after sloop down of pokeberries.

BITTERSWEET NIGHTSHADE (Solanum dulcamara)

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Bittersweet nightshade flowers: picture by TheOtherKev via Pixabay

Other Names

Woody nightshade

About

The genus Solanum consists of many of ours favourite veggies, consisting of potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. All Solanum varieties contain several of the toxin solanine, despite the edible components of favourite vegetables have actually such small amounts that they are normally harmless to many people. Civilization with irritable bowel disease, however, can find the edible nightshades rise symptoms. Although ns focussing ~ above S. Dulcamara, non-cultivated types of the Solanum genus need to be treated together poisonous. Potato berry are likewise toxic.

Description

General: grows 1.3 m tall, vine-like, slightly woody, perennial.Leaves: Alternate, 3-8 cm long, egg-shaped to slightly heart-shaped. Deserve to be slightly hairy. Flowers: Grow in clusters on short stalks coming from the stem.Five violet petals through a yellow cone in the centre.Berries: Bright red, shiny, contempt oblong.

Range

Native to Europe, north Africa, and Asia. Has actually been introduced to Australia, south America, brand-new Zealand, and North America. Preferesdeisturbed sites.

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Symptoms and Toxicity

In huge doses, bittersweet nightshade berry can cause convulsions and death.It’s not as poisonous as various other plants on this list, but I’ve included it since of its prevalence throughout the world.

Too much leaf terminology? This post from Encylopedia Britannica has actually you covered: leaf shape and arrangment terminology