On this page are some of the most severe poisonous plants one might find when looking for food in the wilderness. There are many poisonous plants that you should definitely avoid eating when you're foraging for food in the wilderness. Poisonous plants can make you nauseous, lethargic or even put you in a coma. There are plants that can burn your skin, affect your heart rate, or give you heart failure! The plants on this page are poisonous to humans. Remember - just because you see an animal or bird eating a plant or berry doesn't mean it's safe to eat!

Rules of Thumb for Berries
• Black and blue are good
for you
• If it’s red, use your head
• If it’s white, do not bite!
• In other words, STILL
TEST, but only on Black,
Blue, or Red berries

Warning - Do Not Add These Berries To Your Menu-

An evergreen shrub that can grow to be a tree. The leaves are stiff with sharp points and may be edged with white. The berries are hard and bright red. Eating more than 3 holly berries can cause severe and prolonged nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, as well as drowsiness.

An evergreen shrub with soft bright green needles similar to the "Christmas tree."
The berries are soft red capsules with a hard green stone in the center. Eating more than three yew berries can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness,difficulty in breathing, and changes in your child's heart rate.

This weed can grow up to five feet tall and has thick green-purple stems similar to
rhubarb. Pokeweed berries (also known as ink berries) grow in clusters, like grapes, and ripen from white to green to rose and finally purple. Ripe berries stain the hands purple when crushed. Eating over 10 berries may cause headache, abdominal pain, and severe diarrhea. The leaves and the roots have been used in herbal preparations to induce vomiting.

An evergreen herb with white to pink berries used to decorate for the holidays.
Mistletoe berries are considered relatively non-toxic in small quantities. Large
amounts of the berries can cause stomach upset. Other parts of the plant can also
cause visual disturbances and convulsions. Such complications have been
associated with ingesting extracts of the plant (e.g., tea).

American Bittersweet
A woody vine often used in fall wreaths and dried flower arrangements. Its
orange-yellow berries are three-part capsules with a seed in each part. They grow
at the point where the leaves join the stems. Eating American Bittersweet berries
can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.

An evergreen tree often used in holiday decorations. Its blue-purple berries have
been used in recipes for flavoring. The safety of juniper berries as a food item
is questionable since abdominal cramps and diarrhea have been reported when
large amounts were eaten.

An evergreen shrub that tends to grow upright with long branches rather than as a bush.
Its bright orange berries grow in clusters so thick that the branches cannot be seen.
(not edible) http://www.garden.org/searchqa/index.php?q=show&id=30691&ps=

See the most lethal and extremely dangerous poisonous plants below.

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Jerusalem Cherry - The Jerusalem cherry is a plant that belongs to the same family as the deadly nightshade. It has small, round, red and orange fruit. Jerusalem cherry poisoning occurs when someone eats pieces of this plant. The poison is found throughout the Jerusalem cherry plant, but especially in the unripened fruit and leaves.

The Jerusalem Cherry contains Solanocapsine, a poison that causes: Coma,Delirium,Diarrhea,Drowsiness,Enlarged (dilated) pupils,Hallucinations,Headache,Low blood pressure,Slowed breathing,Slow pulse,Stomach pain,
Nightshade - Unripe berries are more toxic than ripe berries.  Berries are more toxic than leaves which, in turn, are more toxic than stems or roots.  Overall plant glycoalkaloid content is often higher in the autumn than in the spring.

There are several glycoalkaloids (alkaloids + sugars) that are potentially toxic.  A prototypical glycoalkaloid is called solanine (sugar [solanose] + alkaloid [solanidine] = solanine).  The akaloidal portion of the glycoalkaloid is also generically referred to as an aglycone.  The intact glycoalkaloid is poorly absorbed from the GI tract but causes GI irritation.  The aglycone is absorbed and is believed to be responsible for observed nervous system signs.

GI signs include anorexia, nausea, salivation, abdominal pain, emesis, constipation or diarrhea (with or without blood).  Nervous system signs include apathy, drowsiness, progressive weakness/paralysis, prostration and unconsciousness.  Nervous signs build to a maximum followed by death or recovery within 1 to 2 days. 

Azalea - Woody, evergreen or deciduous shrubs; leaves alternate, simple, smooth- or toothed-margined; flowers in a terminal cluster, tubular, 5-parted, white to deep pink or yellow; fruit an elongated capsule. 

All parts of the Azalea are extremely toxic. Andromedotoxin is the toxic principle of the Azalea.
Symptoms of ingestion include:
Salivation, watering of eyes and nose, abdominal pain, loss of energy, depression, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, difficult breathing, progressive paralysis of arms and legs, coma.

Lambkill - (also called Dwarf Laurel, Sheep Laurel, or Wicky ,  (species Kalmia angustifolia)), an open upright woody shrub of the heath family (Ericaceae). Lambkill is 0.3–1.2 m (1–4 feet) tall and has glossy, leathery, evergreen leaves and showy pink to rose flowers.

It contains andromedotoxin, a poison also common to other Kalmia species (including mountain laurel and bog laurel) and other members of the heath family. In northwestern North America, where these plants occur, livestock (especially sheep) that graze on nonfertile soils of abandoned pastures and meadows may ingest sufficient lambkill to become poisoned.

Symptoms include excessive salivation and nasal discharge, paralysis, and coma and may ultimately lead to death.

Foxglove - These familiar ornamental biennial plants are members of the snapdragon family native to southern Europe and Asia. Foxgloves are the pharmaceutical source of the heart drug digitalis, which is poisonous in overdose.
Pain in the mouth or throat followed by vomiting, diarrhea, severe headache, and irregular pulse, breathing, and heartbeat. Convulsions and death from cardiac arrest can occur if poisoning is severe enough.
Sap, flowers, seeds, and leaves of foxgloves. The greatest concentration of the toxin occurs in vigorous growth shoots. Dried plant material is usually harmless.
Potent cardiac or steroid glycosides: digitoxin, digloxin, digitalin, and others.
*Even iff the plant materials are dried or boiled, the ingredients remain active.

The plants are helpful in preserving other species of cut flowers with which they may be arranged in a vase or in stimulating the growth and endurance of garden root vegetables, especially potatoes, with which they may be planted.

Oleander - All parts of the Oleander plant are extremely poisonous; Flowers, Leaves, Stems and Twigs

Poisonous Ingredient: Digitoxigenin, Neriin, Oleandrin, Oleondroside
Note: This list may not include all poisonous ingredients.
Symptoms include:
Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and throat: Blurred vision,Vision disturbances, including halos
Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, Loss of appetite, Nausea,Stomach pain,Vomiting
Heart and blood: Irregular or slow heartbeat, Low blood pressure, Weakness
Nervous system: Confusion,Death,Depression,Disorientation,Dizziness,Drowsiness,Fainting,Headache,Lethargy,
Skin: Hives, Rash
Note: Depression, loss of appetite, and halos are usually only seen in chronic overdose cases.
Manchineel - Called Poison Guava, that is famous for its poisonous fruits. The sap of the tree is also highly toxic, and even touching it can cause serious burns and ulcers. (See link above) The precise mechanism of toxicity is unknown but seems likely to be a direct effect on the cells.

The manchineel is native mostly to sandy beaches of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Its attractive, single or paired yellow-to-reddish, sweet-scented, applelike fruits have poisoned Spanish conquistadores, shipwrecked sailors, and present-day tourists.

The manchineel is a handsome, round-crowned tree that grows up to 12 m (40 feet) in height with a 60-centimetre- (2-foot-) thick trunk. It has long-stalked, lustrous, leathery, elliptic yellow-green leaves. The manchineel is so poisonous that smoke from its burning wood irritates the eyes. Caribbean Indians used the sap to poison their arrows. The fruit contains a hard stone that encloses six to nine seeds.

Jimsonweed is an annual herb which grows up to 5 feet tall. It has a pale geen stem with spreading branches. Leaves are ovate with green or purplish coloration , coarsely serrated along edges, and 3 to 8 inches long. Flowers are white or purple with a 5-pointed corolla up to four inches long and set on short stalks in the axils of branches. Seeds are contained in a hard, spiny capsule, about 2 inches in diameter, which splits lenghtwise into four parts when ripe.

Jimsonweed toxicity is caused by tropane alkaloids. The total alkaloid content in the plant can be as high as 0.7%. The toxic chemicals are atropine, hyoscine (also called scopolamine), and hyoscyamine.

Early Signs:                                    
rapid pulse,restlessness,polydipsia,depression,rapid breathing,nervousness,dilated pupils,muscular twitching,frequent urination,diarrhea,anorexia,weight loss
Fatal Cases:
weak pulse,irregular breathing,lower body temperature ,coma,retained urine,convulsions
Lantana Erect or spreading shrub, .5 to 1. 2 m tall, with recurved prickles on the angles of the square stem. Leaves opposite or whorled, deciduous, ovate to lanceolate, 2 to 7 cm long, margins toothed, aromatic when crushed. Flowers initially cream, yellow or pink changing to orange or scarlet thus resulting in a multi-colored, short, head-like spike. Fruit greenish-blue or black, one seeded. Found in sandy coastal plain soils Florida to Texas; roadsides, waste places, yards and gardens; persisting after cultivation and escaping.
This ornamental shrub contains lantanin, a triterpenoid, and other compounds irritating to the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are two forms of toxicity: acute and chronic. The acute form usually occurs within 24 hours after eating the plants. Gastroenteritis with bloody, watery feces will occur. Severe weakness and paralysis of the limbs are followed by death in three to four days. The chronic form is characterized by jaundiced mucous membranes, photosensitization, ulcerations of the mucous membranes of the nose and oral cavity. The skin may peel, leaving raw areas. Severe keratitis may result in temporary or permanent blindness.
YewEvergreen shrub; leaves alternate, simple, linear; seed axillary, with red, fleshy aril nearly surrounding the green seed.

Poisonous Part:
Bark, leaves, seed pit (red, fleshy surrounding part, called the aril, is OK to eat).

Nervousness, trembling, slow pulse, pupil dilation, difficult breathing, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, convulsions; may be fatal.