7 poisonous plants

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

By Ruane RemyRuane Remy

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Thin-leaved snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus

This shrub grows between 0.5–1 metre tall and is found all over Canadian woods and open slopes. It has reddish-brown branches and clustered, thin oval leaves. Thin-leaved snowberry is sometimes used as an ornamental shrub, so it’s often found indoors. Its white, round berries are poisonous and can cause vomiting, dizziness, and sedation when eaten.

First aid tips: As with alder buckthorn berries, vomiting—while an unpleasant symptom— often prevents extreme reactions by ridding the body of most of the snowberry’s toxins. Call the Ontario Poison Centre and emergency services. Keep a sample of the plant for identification.


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