What Berries are Dangerous for Humans: Top 5 Poisonous Plants

Unlike tropical forests, temperate continental climates do not have many life-threatening plants. Nevertheless, sometimes there is the flora that can cause serious harm to health.

What berries are not edible – a list

The main danger of berries in the forest is their attractive appearance. Often, the fruits are colored in a bright red, rich blue, or yellow hue, and such a color scheme can not fail to interest a curious person, especially a child.

May lily of the valley

Surprisingly, but the fact – the flower, which absolutely all adults and children love, is considered dangerous. The plant contains the poison convallatoxin, which in excess can provoke poisoning. That is why even the water in which the flowers were standing is not safe. The greatest threat comes from the fruit, which is visible at the stage of ripening color – bright red berries. Three or four pieces are enough for the outcome to be fatal.


The plant, which everyone has heard of, begins to bloom in the spring, and the fruits appear closer to August. The red-orange balls should not be eaten, but not only they are dangerous, but also the bark of the plant. In contact with the skin, it causes dermatitis, redness, and blisters.


Alkaloids are a poisonous substance, the concentration of which in this berry exceeds all permissible limits. Overdose causes disruption of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, and often becomes the cause of death. In ancient times, girls used this berry for cosmetic purposes: they dripped it in their eyes to give them an enticing shine, and also rubbed it on their cheeks, gaining a ruddy complexion.

Crow’s eye

This crop is also called “wolfberry,” and the fruit can easily be confused with blueberries or black currants. It differs only in appearance – one berry is between four leaves, open in the form of a “rosette”. The plant is poisonous as a whole – both leaves, fruits, and roots are dangerous.

Red elderberry

Classic elderberry has a strong smell, which is difficult for people to endure, especially in hot weather. The large red berries are unpleasant to taste, so you should not try them. Many people confuse elderberries with rowanberries, but such negligence threatens to poison, especially if you have eaten unripe fruit.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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