Autumn walks can provide plenty of visual stimuli: hedges and trees are laden with bright berries, while leaves turn a beautiful gold and red colour.
Seeing so many berries around, it is worth doing some research into berries that are safe to eat, as some berries have good nutritional value.
Of course, you also need to be careful and avoid picking poisonous berries.
This is not a comprehensive guide and it is recommended to consult one or more guide books to identify plants.
Which Berries Are Edible? Which Berries Are Poisonous?
Edible berries include:
- rowan (but only safe when cooked, taste not pleasant)
- sloe or blackthorn
- rose hip or dog rose
- elderberry (only safe when cooked)
- viburnum or highbush cranberry or guelder rose (but only safe when cooked, taste not pleasant)
|Edible Berries||Edible Berries When Cooked||Poisonous Berries|
|Hawthorn||Rowan||Cuckoo pint or Arum maculatum|
|Rose hip or dog rose||Sloe or blackthorn||Laburnum|
|Blackberry||Elderberry (unripe and ripe raw elderberry contain cyanide)||Jerusalem cherry or Solanum pseudocapsicum|
|Juniper (in small quantities)||Viburnum or highbush cranberry or guelder rose (unpleasant taste)||Doll’s eyes or Actaea pachypoda|
|Elaeagnus umbelata or autumn olive||Black nightshade (toxic when unripe, edible when ripe but always ask an expert)|
|Callicarpa or beautyberry||Woody nightshade|
|Dogwood (not toxic in small quantities)||Yew (seed is toxic, pulp isn’t but check with an expert). Yew leaves cause skin irritation|
|Pyracantha (not toxic in small quantities)||Aucubas|
|Cotoneaster (low toxicity, but check with an expert)|
|Berberis, (low toxicity, but check with an expert)|
|Honeysuckle, (low toxicity, but check with an expert)|
|Buckthorn or Rhamnus cathartica|
|Daphne berries or ligustrum vulgare|
|Pokeweed or phytolacca americana (can be safe with careful preparation, ask an expert)|