Are Winterberry berries poisonous to dogs?

shelli563(zone 6 MA)October 6, 2010


I'm considering adding some Winterberry (ilex verticillata) to my backyard for some winter interest. Are the berries poisonous to dogs?

Though my dog does not chew on shrubs, he has been seen nibbling on "tasty treats" that fall in our yard from the trees above. I would not be fencing off this area where I plan to add the Winterberry, so my dog will be allowed to stroll among the bushes.

Do the berries drop easily from the branches or do they stay on until birds eat them off? Are they attractive smelling to dogs? Most likely, my dog would probably accidently ingest some while nibbling on surrounding "tasties" in the same area.

If there is any chance of poisoning, I'd just rather look for other plants. Thanks for the input.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

If you google this topic, you will soon find out that the ASPCA lists this holly as toxic to pets (and humans) if eaten in quantities. Birds are attracted to it because of the color. If you have plenty of birds in your area, the holly berries are not likely to ever hit the ground.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shelli563(zone 6 MA)

Thank you for the input....I actually just purchased 3 Winter Red and 1 Southern Gentleman . I'm creating a winter interest garden in partial shade with these as the focal point. I'd like to get some recommendations for companion plants that are evergreen or perhaps some grasses when dried have winter interest. I'll post this question separately.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 3:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
What variety of evergreen shrubs are these?
The photo files aren't rotated on my computer so I...
Name of this shrub?
I took this cutting from my Aunt's yard and don't remember...
What is on the branches of my Pittosporum tree?
What is it? Is it a problem and how do I get rid of...
Will my new witch hazel bloom at this time every year?
Last May I planted a little 3 foot witch hazel from...
Recs For Underused Ornamental Shrubs
Can you share some that you'd think would be planted...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™