During early summer, the clusters of green-white to pink flowers start to bloom amongst the attractive blue-green leaves, followed by clusters of white, conspicuous, round fruits, 1-2cm in diameter, which persist into the autumn. This bushy, rounded shrub can make a fast-growing, multi-stemmed deciduous hedge which spreads by suckers underground. It is an important winter food source for quail, pheasant, and grouse, but is considered poisonous to humans, as the berries contain the isoquinoline alkaloid chelidonine, as well as other alkaloids and should not be eaten. Ingesting the berries causes mild symptoms of vomiting, dizziness, and slight sedation in children.
These seeds have already been thoroughly cleaned and cold-stored for several months. They should be sown into well-drained, sandy compost at any time of the year, and covered to their own depth with sand or grit. No artificial heat is needed; the seed tray is best left in a cool spot outside and kept moist. Seeds germinate very slowly indeed in the spring after a chilling in the cold compost, regardless of when they are sown. Some seeds may take more than a year to germinate.
Common name:Snowberry, Waxberry, Ghostberry