I am interested in knowing if the berries of Nandina plants are poisonous. We have several such plants around our yard and would like to know how careful we need to be with our little boy.

January 08, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
According to this North Carolina State University Web site, the berries of Nandina have a slight toxicity. Scientific Name: Nandina domestica
Common Name: Nandina, heavenly bamboo
Family: Berberidaceae
Plant Description: Evergreen shrub; leaves alternate and clasping at base, 2 to 3 pinnately divided; flowers white in a terminal cluster; fruit bright red berries
Origin: Japan
Where Found: Weedy in disturbed areas; in landscape, cultivated ornamental woody shrub, persisting after planting and escaping
Mode: Ingestion. Poisonous Part: Berries
Symptoms: No cases reported in humans, but berries are possibly toxic to cats and some grazing animals
Toxic Principle: Unknown
Severity: CAUSES ONLY LOW TOXICITY IF EATEN.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.