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  • From: "Bill Russell" <>
  • To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] What's safe to eat and what isn't
  • Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2004 15:04:58 -0800

Yew fruit is edible, if you spit out the seed. Tastes pretty good, too, if
you dont mind slime.

Flowering dogwood berries are very poisonous.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Diane Whitehead" <>
To: "North American Fruit Explorers" <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] What's safe to eat and what isn't

> >There is an old saying:
> >Berries red, have no dread
> >berries white, poisons sight.
> I have masses of poisonous red berries in my garden - yew and daphne.
> I trained my children, and now grandchildren, to browse my yard
> safely. When they were toddlers, they could identify strawberries,
> and we would go around the yard (which has hundreds of alpine
> strawberry plants growing everywhere), and I'd point to various red
> berries and ask if they looked like a strawberry, and they would eat
> the safe berries. As they got a bit older, I added other safe
> fruits, and then they were old enough to actually identify the
> poisonous ones. At this point, I would hear them instructing visiting
> children.
> I thought about all the berries that grow in this area, both wild
> ones and garden ones, and came up with an all-encompassing rule for
> small children. "Bumpy berries are safe." This has been picked up by
> leaders of children's groups here, and the children are taught what
> they can safely eat in the woods. It leaves out the smooth berries
> that are safe,(huckleberries and blueberries), but those can be
> taught to older children when they can identify the whole bush.
> I don't know whether this rule applies elsewhere. Here, all the bumpy
> berries are members of the rose family: strawberries, raspberries,
> blackberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries. Does anyone know of any
> poisonous berries that could be considered "bumpy"?
> --
> Diane Whitehead Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
> maritime zone 8
> cool mediterranean climate (dry summer, rainy winter - 68 cm annually)
> sandy soil
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