Daphne laureola or spurge-laurel is an evergreen shrub with yellowish green flowers and blue-black berries.
Daphne mezereum is a woody deciduous shrub with bright red berries. The pink or purple flowers bloom in early spring before the leaves appear.
Is it toxic?
Berries and all parts of the plant contain a compound that has irritant and blistering properties.
Skin: Contact with the sap may result in irritation, redness, swelling and blisters. Symptoms usually resolve within 48 hours.
Ingestion: Symptoms usually start within 1-2 hours. Ingestion of 1 or 2 berries may cause a stomach upset. Larger amounts may result in more severe symptoms including irritation to the mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and lethargy.
What to do?
Skin: Wash skin with soap and water and rinse thoroughly. Contact the Poison Control Centre if blistering occurs or if you have any questions or concerns.
Ingestion: Rinse out mouth and drink a glass of water. Contact the Poison Control Centre. In some cases, referral to a hospital may be recommended.
How can I prevent exposure? Do not ingest wild berries. Know the name of the plants and berries in your backyard.
Need more information: Contact the Poison Control Centre.
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