berry bad


Saturday morning started off as I usually do, walking around my garden with my coffee checking out what has grown during the week.  I had been reading about lilly pilly berries on gardening blogs and decided to forage from my lilly pilly tree.  Sure enough, there was a plump juicy berry there among the leaves, so I popped it in my mouth and started searching for more.

Strangely, there were no more berries to be found, so I went back to the original stem and parted the leaves to discover to my horror that I had eaten the berry off a weed, which my ecologist friend had pointed out to me on my first walk around my garden as one to warn the kids about for its poisonous berries!!!

Feeling foolish, I started to feebly heimlich manoeuvre my stomach, before ringing the poisons helpline (Ph: 13 11 26), not knowing how many minutes more I had to live.  The conversation went like this:

Me: This is really stupid, but I was confused and ate a poisonous berry from my garden.

Her: What was it?

Me: I don’t know.

Her: Why do you think it was poisonous?

Me: Because my ecologist friend said so.

Her: There’s nothing I can do without its botanical name.

Me: Please….tell me what I should be watching out for.

Her: One berry is not going to poison an adult.

Me: I feel so stupid, as I have told the kids not to eat this berry.

Her: (not really sure what she said as she cut me off and hung up)

So comforted that it was just one berry I got on with my day and didn’t give it any more thought until 1:30 when my stomach literally blew up like a balloon, distending more and more until I was groaning on my back on the floor. Then I started throwing up repeatedly.

One berry!

Lessons learned:  Do not forage anything that you haven’t planted. Use wikipedia. Know the botanical names of everything in the garden. One berry can poison an adult.

This is not a lilly pilly berry kids.

This is not a lilly pilly berry kids.


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