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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - December 20, 2011

From: Maysville, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Are buckbrush (coralberry) berries poisonous?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Are the berries on buckbrush (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) poisonous to humans?

ANSWER:

The Poisonous Plants of North Carolina database says that the berries of all species of Symphoricarpos are mildly toxic when eaten—causing vomiting and diarrhea.  The Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System lists the related Symphoricarpos albus (Common snowberry) that also occurs in Missouri as being mildly poisonousSymphoricarpos orbiculatus (Coralberry) is not specifically listed in any of the toxic plant databases that I accessed, but given the information about the genus from the two cited above, I wouldn't eat any of the berries myself!

 

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