Ask a Question forum: Can you eat the berries of Yew Trees

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Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
Oct 12, 2016 3:46 PM CST
Thumb of 2016-10-12/AmberLeaf/e2dcf5

Every winter I see these berries on yew trees, and as a forager of wild foods I like to collect lots of edible wild foods, however these berries I have very little knowledge off. I tried one of these last winter and is tasted really good, they are very sweet so I'm guessing they must be edible, so I picked and ate more of these last winter. Does anybody have more information on these?

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oct 12, 2016 4:11 PM CST
The flesh of the berries is edible but the seeds are not. That is the ONLY part of the tree that is edible. Even the pollen is toxic.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
Oct 12, 2016 4:38 PM CST
Oh ok good job that I've always spat the seeds out lol I'll make a note of that in my little book. I was thinking that this tree could be good for making pine needle tea but maybe not lol.
Name: Sue Taylor
Northumberland, UK
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Amaryllis Houseplants Annuals Garden Photography
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Foliage Fan Bulbs Bee Lover Frogs and Toads Container Gardener
Oct 12, 2016 9:36 PM CST
Yes stay away from yew berries, they are toxic. Also they are not pine trees so don't even think about doing tea with the leaves!
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Forum moderator Hummingbirder Salvias Butterflies Birds
Plant Identifier Vegetable Grower Container Gardener Seed Starter Cat Lover Region: Georgia
Oct 12, 2016 10:13 PM CST
Agreed, please don't eat Yew parts!
Remember, Agatha Christie killed off her character, Rex Fortescue, with Yew in 'A Pocket Full of Rye'. Sticking tongue out
Her book may be fiction, but the Yew toxin (taxine) is not!
Name: Kevin Langley
London UK
Oct 14, 2016 11:42 AM CST
I've never been ill from eating yew berries but I'll probably just stay away from them altogether as the tree is so toxic. I know there are some wild plants out there that can do damage to your liver or kidneys... I'll just stick with the plants I know about.

I have tried other berries although I've not eaten them I've just gave them a little taste then spit them out just to see and some taste sweet and edible but I guess just because something tastes good may not necessarily mean that its edible.

I have a book on wild mushrooms and so many look the same, like there is a very poisonous mushroom that looks the same as a harmless edible mushroom in my mushroom book, that just put me right off mushroom picking. The only mushroom I know off is the ink cap mushrooms but as for others I stay away from.

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