Q: Could you please tell me what these are? I found them on a walk in the North Georgia mountains and was wondering if they were poisonous to feed to a squirrel.
A: Shannon Pable, expert on all plants native, says they are the fruit of buffalo-nut, Pyrularia pubera. It’s actually a parasitic plant. It grows on the roots of other trees & shrubs.
Yes, it’s poisonous and considered toxic if eaten in large quantities.
Raymond K. says he identified the shrub in Fannin County: “It’s in the family Santalaceae, or sandalwood family. I had to go through several keys to ID it. Information says it exists as far south as Pine Mountain (where I grew up). The nut itself is somewhat pear shaped, about 4 cm long and has three small knobs at the bottom.”
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