The bane of baneberries

Janice Schoefield, in Discovering Wild Plants suggests that you might want to plant a Baneberry (Actaea rubra) or other poisonous plant in your garden to teach children about poisonous plants. That’s an interesting strategy considering that just two berries could kill a kid. Of course, Schoefield says that usually kids won’t eat more than one berry because of the taste, unless they accidentally throw them in their bucket and mix them up with cranberries. You still can pick them out if you’re looking for them. I’m not sure how I feel about planting poisonous plants in the garden. At least with my kids who are always testing the limits. But I do like the idea of training my kids while they’re young. I’m realizing that my fear of a couple of poisonous berries has kept me from trying a lot of edible berries because they kinda looked alike. If I was more familiar with the poisonous ones, then perhaps I would’ve been more adventurous with trying other edible berries.

Schoefield, J. 2007. Discovering wild plants: Alaska, Western Canada, the Northwest. Alaska Northwest Books., Portland.

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