These are 5 Most Dangerous Fruits in the Minnesota

Minnesota is known for its beautiful lakes, forests, and wildlife, but not all of its natural resources are safe to eat. Certain fruits that do well in the state can be harmful to both people and animals. Here are five of Minnesota’s most dangerous fruits and why it’s best to avoid them.


Elderberry is a shrub that typically grows in damp locations such as roadsides, ditches, streams, and fields. It bears clusters of small, dark purple berries. Although the fruit is suitable for making jelly, pies, and wine, it’s important to note that most parts of the plant contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside, making them poisonous. Consuming the poison may result in vomiting, diarrhea, coma, or death. If you are uncertain about how to identify and process elderberry safely, it is recommended to avoid it completely.

Wild Plum

Wild plum is a shrub or small tree commonly found in thickets, along roadsides, pastures, riverbanks, and old farmsteads. It bears round, red, or yellow fruits. While the fruit can be used in various recipes, it’s important to note that the seeds, leaves, and bark contain amygdalin, which can release cyanide if ingested in large quantities. Signs of poisoning may manifest as headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and in severe cases, death.

Wild Grape

Wild grape vines grow tall in trees and can be found in woodlands, wetlands, and prairies. Although the circular, violet, tangy fruit is delicious when consumed fresh or turned into juice, jelly, or wine, it’s important to be careful because the leaves and stems have oxalic acid, which can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Consuming unripe fruit and seeds in large amounts can cause kidney damage due to the presence of tannins. Collecting and getting wild grapes ready requires caution and not overdoing it.


Juneberry, also referred to as serviceberry or saskatoon, thrives in wooded areas, damp ravines, and valleys. The fruit can be used for making jam, jelly, sauce, and beverages, with white blossoms and purplish-black fruits resembling blueberries. Juneberry seeds contain sambunigrin, which can release cyanide when chewed or digested. Consuming excessive quantities can cause cyanide poisoning, leading to symptoms such as drowsiness, confusion, seizures, coma, or death.

High Bush Cranberry

Even though it’s called highbush cranberry, it’s actually a shrub that grows in cool woods, thickets, and swampy areas, not a true cranberry. The berries, which vary in shape from round to oblong and in color from yellow to dark red, contain viburnine. If consumed raw or in large quantities, this chemical can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When cooking the fruit, toxicity is reduced, but it’s still recommended to consume it carefully.

In conclusion

Minnesota’s wild and edible fruits provide a variety of flavors and benefits, but they also come with hidden risks. Certain fruits have toxins that can be dangerous or even deadly if not consumed correctly. It is crucial to identify, harvest, and prepare these fruits safely. If you’re unsure, it’s best to avoid them completely and opt for store-bought fruits instead.

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