Are Hawthorn Berries Toxic To Children – If you don’t know what it is, DON’T EAT IT! I know I sound like a broken record, but this is something I can’t stress enough about. There are many types of berries in the wilderness and many of them are edible – with some precautions taken.
On the other hand, there are just as many inedible, poisonous berries in the wild; things that will negatively affect your body.
Are Hawthorn Berries Toxic To Children
These poisonous fruits will have effects ranging from mild discomfort to…well…death. Many of these are attractive-looking items that can easily be mistaken for safe to eat.
Are Hawthorn Berries Edible?
This mistake can have serious consequences. With that in mind, let’s take a look at 27 wild berries that are poisonous.
Symphoricarpos albus, the common snowberry is a member of the honeysuckle family found in the Northern and Western USA and most of Canada. It is a plant used for erosion control, and was a popular ornamental plant from the 1890s to the 1920s.
The common snowberry is used as a food source for bighorn sheep, grizzly bears, and white-tailed deer. It is also eaten by some domestic animals (ie, cattle and sheep). All told, the plants themselves and the stems are poisonous to humans and cause vomiting.
Interestingly, Native Americans used this plant as medicine and soap while they used the wood for arrow shafts.
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There are several different types of juniper plants and while there are a few that are edible; mostly poison. Juniperus sabina – the Savin Juniper – contains savin oil which destroys body cells and results in deaths.
Additionally, all juniper plants contain thujone oil which causes diarrhea, stomach pain, and kidney damage. Juniper berries can also cause vomiting, convulsions, skin rashes, and difficulty breathing.
Originally native to Europe, mistletoe plants are now found in North Africa, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, and parts of the USA (California).
There are approximately 1500 species of the mistletoe plant, and each differs in terms of its toxicity to us. Viscum album – European mistletoe is more poisonous than its American counterpart (
The Red Fruit Of Crataegus Monogyna, Known As The Hawthorn Or Single Seed Hawthorn Or May Flower, Major, Blackthorn, White Horn, Motherboard Stock Photo
The American variant contains Phoratoxin and the European variant contains Tyramine. Although the effects are not usually fatal, they are not pleasant. Side effects include blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting. In some rare cases, they can also cause seizures, hypertension, and cardiac arrest.
These toxins are concentrated in the leaves and berries of the plants which makes it particularly dangerous to make teas from them.
Yew trees are native to parts of Europe, Africa, Iran, and Asia and are often grown as ornamental trees. They are highly toxic upon consumption which often results in death.
Except for the red flesh of the berry, every part of this tree is poisonous; contains taxine alkaloids that affect the heart. Yew poisoning is common in animals and while there is no cure for it; symptoms can be treated.
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The estimated lethal dose for humans is 3mg/kg of body weight or 50g of yew needles. Consuming a lethal dose of yew needles causes cardiogenic shock (your heart stops working and cannot pump enough oxygenated blood to your vital organs) resulting in death.
Native to eastern and central North America, Mexico, and Guatemala, the Virginia creeper is grown as an ornamental plant. It is a vine that tends to climb a wall/surface and is known for its ability to cover a surface and its attractive fall foliage.
The berries from this plant are a purple-black color and are non-poisonous/poisonous to birds. In fact, they constitute an important food source for some bird species but are highly toxic to humans.
The Hedera or ivy family consists of 12 – 15 species of plants native to Europe, Macronesia, Northwestern Africa and parts of Asia. Ivy vines are a common sight here in South Africa, you can see them spreading across the flat ground and climbing up the walls of buildings.
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The berries produced by the plants are moderately toxic and cause contact dermatitis – a skin rash. It’s not life-threatening, but it can be very, very uncomfortable.
Native to Peru and Ecuador, the Jerusalem cherry is a member of the nightshade family. They live up to 10 years and produce fruits very similar to cherry tomatoes in texture and flavor – resulting in the two being confused for one another.
Jerusalem cherry contains solanocapsine which, although toxic, is usually not life-threatening. It tends to cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
There are 500 species of holly plants, and you can find them all over the world in temperate climates. The European variant is used for Christmas decorations and cards.
Crataegus Crus Galli (cockspur Hawthorn, Cockspur Thorn, Dwarf Hawthorn, Hawthorn, Hog Apple, Newcastle Hawthorn)
Holly contains a variety of substances including caffeine, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, and theobromine. These substances make the berries toxic, causing diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach and intestinal problems.
Pokeweed…this is one of those plants where you can get conflicting information. Some articles say that if you prepare it properly and only use the young shoots that appear in the spring, it is safe to eat.
Others say you shouldn’t touch the stuff! The berries can stain the skin and they contain phytolaccine proteins that can harm the digestive and respiratory systems. Ingesting these berries or having prolonged physical contact with them can also cause skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and loss of bowel control…lovely .
If these proteins get into your blood, it’s even worse; Symptoms include headache, convulsions, muscle spasms, weakness, difficulty breathing, low blood pressure and, in some cases, loss of consciousness.
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Atropa Belladonna, also called Deadly nightshade is native to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia. It is one of the most poisonous plants in the Eastern Hemisphere.
How dangerous is it? Well, the maximum single dose for human consumption is 200mg but consuming between 2 and 5 berries is enough to kill an adult human.
Belladonna poisoning symptoms include constipation, delirium, confusion, light sensitivity, urinary retention, staggering, imbalance, rash, and hallucinations among other things.
Fun Fact: The name ‘belladonna’ comes from its historical use by women. The name means ‘beautiful woman’ in Italian and drops prepared from the plant were used to enlarge female pupils; dilated pupils are considered attractive.
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‘If you look like a duck, swim like a duck, quack like a duck; it must be a duck.’ – unless you’re dealing with plants. Just because it looks like a grape, doesn’t mean it’s a grape. Making a mistake on this one can be tragic.
Canada Moonseed is found in the eastern part of North America, and southern Canada, you can also find it in Florida, and Texas.
They strongly resemble grapes, so they can easily be mistaken for them. The name ‘moonseed’ comes from the shape of the seed of the berry – a crescent moon and the fruit ripens between September and October (same as wild grapes).
These small, red berries are commonly found among forests and fields in the eastern United States in fall and winter. They are usually eaten by birds, and some are edible but people should leave them alone just to be safe.
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Horse nettle is a member of the Solanum (nightshade) family and bears a striking resemblance to a tomato. The fruits are green or yellow in color and resemble cherry tomatoes.
Most parts (fruits, leaves, etc.) of the plants are poisonous, containing solanine – a toxic alkaloid that, upon consumption, causes stomach ache as well as circulatory and respiratory problems.
Bittersweet nightshade is native to Europe and Asia and has been naturalized in many parts of the world – including North America. It is a creeping vine that can reach up to 4m in height – if there is a strong enough support system.
Fun fact: Bitter nightshade plants were hung around the necks of cattle in the Middle Ages to protect them from the evil eye and witchcraft.
Wild Berry Paradise
The white baneberry is native to the eastern part of North America and prefers sandy soil and shady places to grow.
The nickname ‘doll eyes’ comes from the small 1cm berry is white with a black dot in the middle, like a doll’s eyes. Every part of this plant – especially the berries – is poisonous to humans.
White baneberries contain cardiogenic toxins that can have an immediate sedative effect on the muscular tissue of the heart.
A toxic dose induces symptoms such as drooling, diarrhea, dizziness, severe abdominal pain/nausea, headache, and hallucinations. The ultimate result of ingestion can be death by cardiac arrest (heart attack).
Late Harvest Treat: Haw Jelly
Maybe it’s just me, but this one looks like a cherry or a tomato making the confusion for something edible an obvious mistake. Lily of the valley is found in Asia, Europe, and the southern Appalachian Mountains of the United States.
Growing between 15 and 30 centimeters tall and sporting between 5 and 15 sweet-smelling flowers, the red-orange berries on this plant are highly poisonous.
Even small amounts of these berries can cause stomach pain, vomiting, confusion, and a decreased heart rate. Lily of the valley has been found to contain 38 different heart toxins that can cause cardiac arrest and death.
Daphne is a family of evergreens