Plant ID forum: Is this a laurel? Is it poisonous?

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May 13, 2016 9:31 PM CST
I'm hoping someone might help shed light on what these plants are and whether they're poisonous.

Location & time: These grow in dense thickets on the Magdalen Islands (off of Canada's east coast), which we visit every summer. These photos were taken in late August.

Scent and culinary use: When broken, these wild leaves smell exactly like my bay laurel plant's leaves (laurus nobilis, an heirloom from my grandfather). Last summer I actually used some of the wild leaves for a soup and we didn't feel sick at all.

Two different plants: I took photos of the shrubs and unfortunately now I realize there are actually two different types of plants in the photos, and I can't remember which ones actually had the bay laurel scent. I'm attaching photos of each type, as well as image of both in the same shot (fourth image). As you can see, each type has a different fruit:

- one with red berries starting to mature to black (with more pointed, slender leaves with slightly serrates edges),


- one with clustered berries that were still very green at that point (and thick stiff leaves with slightly rounded tips; 3 photos of this one).

Any help you can provide in identifying them would be greatly appreciated. :)

Many thanks.
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