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The firethorn is an evergreen shrub that is often found in our gardens and has strong spikes. Since the wood does not lose its foliage in winter, it uses them to protect itself from predators. In spring, the firethorn produces numerous white inflorescences, from which the attractive red-orange fruits develop by autumn.

Do not eat the berries raw

These berry-shaped drupes taste unpleasantly sour and floury and are not suitable for eating raw. However, contrary to popular belief, they are non-toxic and edible. Only the two to five seeds of the nuts contain traces of cyanogenic glycosides and are slightly toxic when chewed. All other parts of the plant are non-toxic.

The concentration of toxins in the berries is so low that there are no symptoms of poisoning even after consuming larger amounts. In sensitive people and children, consumption of the raw fruit can lead to mild gastrointestinal complaints, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

The berries - bright jewelry in the cold season

Firethorn berries do not fall off in autumn and remain on the tree throughout the winter (winter stayers). They serve many bird species as valuable food in the cold season and should therefore not be cut off in autumn. Even when pruning in summer, you should not remove all that has faded, otherwise the attractive shrub will produce only a few berries or no berries at all.

Cooked a special treat

The edible firethorn berries can be used to make delicious jam, which is a nice change from other varieties thanks to its exotic taste. It is advisable to push the berries or the prepared fruit spread through a sieve to remove the seeds.

tips and tricks

In times of need, the stone fruits were roasted and used as a substitute for coffee.


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