The Q&A Archives: Oregon Grape Holly Berries

Question: Are Oregon Grape Holly berries poisonous to humans? I would like to buy some but am worried that my 3 year old might try to eat a berry and get sick.

Answer: While I am not aware of this plant (Mahonia) being considered particularly poisonous, it is always a good idea to teach children from a very young age that they are never to eat landscape plants or even garden vegetables without checking with a grown-up first. (For example, many common landscape plants such as yews are certainly poisonous and you can't tell by looking if a vegetable has been sprayed -- and at the very least even spray-free veggies should be washed prior to eating.) You might keep the poison control telephone number handy just as a general precaution.

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