7 poisonous plants

What to avoid touching and/or eating in the great outdoors

By Ruane RemyRuane Remy

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Climbing nightshade

Photo by Omakakii

Solanum dulcamara

Climbing nightshade is found climbing through and around open woods, field boundaries, fence lines, roadsides, hedges, and gardens in every province. Its clustered flowers—blue, violet, and sometimes white—surround five bright yellow stamens.

Climbing nightshade’s stems, leaves, and oblong berries are poisonous if you eat them. The mature bright red berries are less toxic than the immature green berries. Climbing nightshade suppresses the autonomic and parasympathetic nervous systems and affects digestion, so it causes all kinds of nasty symptoms.

First aid tips: You're better off safe than sorry. Keep a sample of the plant for identification and call the Ontario Poison Centre.


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