Not very good pictures (no offense) but it looks like American
Beautyberry to me. /Callicarpa americana/ Search for it and see if the
online pictures match what you have.
The stuff is a native plant where I used to live. I don't think the
berries are edible, but I can't find anywhere that says they are toxic.
Your photos lack enough details for accurate identification but
your bush certainly closely resembles Callicarpa americana, AKA
"American Beauty Berry" or "French mulberry", which is widely
distributed throughout the eastern U.S.A. and the Gulf (of Mexico)
coastal states from Texas to Florida (although, different sources cite
different ranges) and seems to be cultivated as a garden plant in the
"British" Isles. Seeds available from reputable seedsmen. A Google
search on "beauty berry" Dublin (quotes included) produced (I dunno
"beauty berry" Ireland produced:
The plants pictured appear to be identical to the native beauty
berry bushes growing in my yard here in peninsular Florida, U.S.A. "My"
berries are the color of those shown in the referenced photo, although,
the plants here have begun to lose their leaves due to drought. As
Autumn progresses, the berries darken. When fully ripe, they are
favorites of birds, providing forage for migratory species. Most years,
thanks to the birds, I have to reduce the number of new plants on the
4-acre tract that I inhabit in order to prevent their overrunning the
The berries have almost no flavor but the second wave of European
settlers in Florida (largely English and Scots), as well as throughout
the Eastern US, are known to have made jelly from beauty berries, a
practice that I know first-hand to have persisted among country folk
well into the 20th Century. I guess you know by now whether what your
kid ate killed her/him ;-)
Running on single malt in U.S.A.
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