Poisonous plants: Berberis / Barberry

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Category: Foraging


Barberry | Berberrie is toxic when eaten

Barberry | Berberrie is toxic when eaten

My youngest daughter has an enviable appetite for fruit, however the other day she nearly picked and ate a poisonous berry that she thought was a blueberry. We have blueberries and blackcurrants growing in our garden, and I am happy for her to forage around because she knows to ask if she is unsure. This particular berry, a Barberry (Berberrie, Berberis) looks quite tasty, but it will give you a nasty stomach upset (fortunately won’t kill).

Also the sap from the plant is very irritating to the skin, so wash off any traces if you come in to contact with its foliage.

Barberry / Berberis flower

Barberry / Berberis flower

The barberry is an evergreen bush with quite spiky thorns and leaves. During spring time it has beautiful deep yellow flowers, which is probably why it can be found in most gardens.

In mid-Summer it produces dark blue berries, but please teach your family that they are not for eating.

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July 20, 2015 | Foraging | No comment