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The fruits of the snowballs are inedible to slightly poisonous. Their consumption leads to digestive problems such as nausea, stomach pain or vomiting and diarrhea. The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount consumed and the sensitivity of the person concerned.

All parts of the viburnum plant are slightly toxic

More than 100 different species belong to the snowball genus, viburnum in Latin. Many of them are native to Europe or Asia and are an important food source for numerous bird species in winter. That's why you shouldn't prune your snowball bush until spring. However, some birds do not eat the fruit at all and, like humans, they are mildly poisonous to mammals.

Is the snowball suitable for the family garden?

If you have small children in the house who like to put everything in their mouths, then it is better not to plant snowballs in your garden. Although the plant is only considered slightly poisonous, the fruits sometimes look very tempting. Depending on the variety, some of them are bright red, their color reminiscent of red currants. In addition, the fruits of some varieties remain on the bush well into winter.

If your children are older, then a viburnum bush is definitely an opportunity to do something for the local insect and bird world. Some varieties already flower in the winter months, while others then bear fruit. The snowball bush is suitable for planting a privacy hedge.

The essentials in brief:

  • all parts of the plant slightly poisonous
  • Symptoms of poisoning: mainly indigestion
  • only fatal in very large doses
  • Be careful, especially with small children, who put everything in their mouths


The ripe fruits of some varieties look very tempting. Be careful not to be eaten by small children.

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