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My daughter keeps trying to eat these berries and I worry that she might get her way. she is only 1 year old and very determined. I wonder what they are and whether they are poisonous...

Any help appreciated.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 23,790

    Couldn't download the photos

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    This might work

     it did



  • Paul NPaul N Posts: 303


    I don't recognise the plant but I don't understand why your one year old is allowed out in the garden unsupervised. Our three children were repeatedly told to never, never, ever put berries into their mouths without a grown up's say so. This is especially important as there are quite a number of poisonous but every day plants in our gardens. We have a large pair of Yews in our garden and our grandchildren KNOW not to put berries into their mouths. In your case, if you cannot/will not supervise you one year old, you must either keep her out of the garden until she is old enough to understand or snip off all of the berries now.

  • This looks a bit like my cotoneaster lacteus leaf, which does have berries like this, but not until later, usually December. I suppose it depends on where this message comes from. I have looked it up and I see that the berries are mildly toxic, but for a small child could be dangerous.

  • Paul NPaul N Posts: 303


    I am still mystified but have a look at these to see if they match your shrub -

    Ardisia crenata, Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima', Ilex decidua or Ilex verticillata.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,852

    Cotoneaster x watereri?

    But whatever it is, I agree with Paul, what is a one year old (barely a toddler) doing unsupervised in the garden?  My garden (as with most peoples) had loads of plants (and other things) that were potentially harmful to a small child, but my children were not in the garden unsupervised until they could be trusted not to put them in their mouths. 

    Snipping off berries will avoid her eating those ones, but lots of plants have leaves which might be harmful too!  As a parent you have to take the responsibility and be there and be aware. image  It's a pain but it's in the job description - "parenting"!

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    My initial reaction was that it might be a variety of Cotoneaster. That's certainly a common garden plant. Though it could be something more obscure.

    IF the plant is cotoneaster then there's no need to worry about anything. Cotoneaster berries have a very unpleasant taste. Anyone who tries to eat them will immediately spit them out.

    Because cotoneaster berries have such an unpleasant taste, birds will not eat them, until all other berries have gone, so they act as a late-Winter store of food.

    Hysterical ranting is not required. image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,852

    Don't think anyone's ranting and certainly don't want to sound too preachy image it's just that there's a lot of panic about this plant and that plant being poisonous - loads of plants are poisonous - children of a certain age will put things in their mouths - unless one wants a very boring garden all adults have to accept responsibility for keeping an eye on the children.  

    I work with families and am constantly surprised by the people who tell me that their small child is" safe in the garden and doesn't need supervising" when there are all sorts of hazards,including once the broken remains of a mirrored fitted wardrobe propped up against a fence next to a climbing frame!!!

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Thanks for your comments - it does seem to be a parenting rather than gardening question for some and yes she is a supervised toddler and she has been prevented from eating them - of course... Nevertheless, the risk of someone missing her grabbing one and getting it in her mouth is always there and if they are poisonous and eatable then I was going to remove them...  Cotoneaster seems to cover a fairly large number of plants but they do seem poisonous so I will remove them - thanks for your help!

    Cotoneaster / Cotoneaster 

    Small dark green elliptical shaped leaves with bright red spherical berries.

    This plant contains cyanogenic glycosides and all plant parts are potentially poisonous. When children accidentally swallow small numbers of berries, minor symptoms may develop including nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, and diarrhoea. Symptoms may be delayed for a few hours. This plant may also cause skin irritation, itching, and dermatitis. Serious poisoning is rare.

    If berries are swallowed, give a glass of milk or water to drink. Wash any exposed skin with water. Always seek medical advice if symptoms develop.

    I understand that the Yew tree berry's seed is poisonous rather than the fruit and many birds eat them without cracking the seed... so they can still be used to spread the plant. 

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