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10 Things You Should Never Eat in the Wild


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Horse Nettle
Horse nettle fruit is typically yellow or green in color, and shaped like a cherry tomato. Cathie Bird/Used Under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 License
Horse nettle fruit is typically yellow or green in color, and shaped like a cherry tomato. Cathie Bird/Used Under Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 License

Who doesn't love a plump cherry tomato? If you think you see one growing in the scrub during a hike, though, don't pluck it and eat it. It's likely not a cherry tomato at all. Wild tomatoes don't grow in the U.S.'s lower 48 states, for one thing, although they do in other parts of the globe such as southern Ecuador and northern Peru [source: TakePart]. What's more concerning is that the tomato family contains numerous wild relatives that can be quite harmful if eaten. Horse nettle is one of them [source: MacWelch].

Horse nettle fruit is typically yellow or green in color, and shaped like a cherry tomato. It's especially worrisome if someone stumbles upon it in the winter. During that season, the plant itself is dead, yet its fruit often looks appealing and is still quite juicy. But if you pop one in your mouth, you can be in for abdominal pain and breathing difficulties — certainly not anything to mess with [source: MacWelch].


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