Are the berries on cotoneasters good to eat?
NO!!!!! DO NOT EAT . They are poisonous and can cause acute gastritis.
25 Oct, 2011
For humans, no!!!! The birds eat them, though i notice that they don't touch ours until late in the season.
Yes, for birds, they are good to eat.
Sorry to have to disagree with Eclectic but Cotoneaster is considered to have berries with low to no toxicity. It does not appear on the HTA list of potentially harmful plants nor in reference books.
'Low to no' means you might get a belly ache if you ate a bucketful but you wouldn't do that.
You wouldn't do that because one berry is enough. The flesh is fibrous and quite dry and the taste is sharp.
As Bulbaholic says, even the birds leave them until they've eaten all the nice berries.
Given how much fruit cotoneaster produces, it they were good to eat you'd see punnets for sale.
Birds are slow to eat mine this year but just wait they are soon they will be gone.
To thepoisonga are they safe for adults and children or adults only? Soda sprite please load Cotoneaster into your search engine to see the numerous lists that this plant is on in the USA. If it's on a poison list and it is on many including the children's hospital of Philadelphia regardless of toxicity level, on a site like this I give a black and white answer. This time it is no.
Dr Liz Dauncey, in her Kew Garden published book 'Poisonous Plants - A guide for parent and childcare providers' uses Cotoneaster as an example of berries with low or no toxicty.
The International Poisonous Plants Checklist which cites references to scientific papers about poisoning has nothing on Cotoneaster.
'Mind-Altering and Poisonous Plants of the World' with the sub-title 'A Scientifically Accurate Guide to 1200 Toxic and Intoxicating Plants' puts it in Poison Class III, slightly hazardous but does not deal with it in the 1200 plant A to Z section of the book.
'Poisonous Plants in Britain and their effects on Animals and Man', the MAFF publication, says 'It is often assumed that the berries of [Pyracantha] and other similar shrubs such as Cotoneaster are poisonous, and children who have eaten them are often referred to hospital. These berries are, however, of only doubtful or low toxicity'.
Crown copyright reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO.
The point about children being referred to hospital is an important one. Americans have a tendency to look at the top line for plant poisoning statistics rather than seeing how many 'incidents' turn out to be non-toxic plants or plants with low toxicity.
Plus, as I said before, the berries aren't pleasant to eat.
It's very easy to put a plant down on a list of poisonous plants. It's much more difficult to find actual cases of poisoning that justify the inclusion.
they are as tpg says bitter/sharp. I survived a spoonful of 'mashed' berries when I was 7/8 yrs old. my youngest brother liked to experiment! on me. woodlice are crunchy and not unpleasant, worms/caterpillars are just gross.
the kew book was a god send when you have children and an interferring grandparent who would have dug all the plants up..
26 Oct, 2011
If you ever think of sending us a dinner invitation Sbg, sorry but we already have plans that night!!!!!
dont worry, not my menu of choice at the time either. Rarely see this particular brother now, 'wonder why'!
cook proper meals now honest. mince stew and dumplings tonight. :o)
27 Oct, 2011
How do I say thanks?
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