Hazard Information

Route: Skin/Ingestion     Plant Part: Berries, twigs

Scale: High

Berries and twigs cause stomach pain, vomiting, and in more serious cases, haemorrhage, convulsions, breathing difficulties or death.

Sap can cause irritation if handled.



Common Name(s)


Latin Name

Rhamnus Cathartica


The leaves are dull green on soft, sometimes hairy stalks. They are oval in shape and turn yellowish brown in autumn. The flowers are greenish-white which develop into green fruits turning to red then black.


The berries and twigs are poisonous if eaten. Sap can cause skin irritation if handled.


Stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhoea and in more serious cases symptoms of the digestive system with haemorrhage followed by convulsions, breathing difficulties or death.

Flowering Period

May followed by berries in summer.


Hedges, woodland mainly in chalky soils.