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Devil's Club

Devil's Club (Oplopanax horridus), also known as Alaskan Gingseng, is found in many coastal areas of Alaska, including Valdez. The plant produces clusters of red berries in late summer; the berries are inedible to humans, but are consumed by bears

"In botanical literature, a plant with spines, thorns or stinging hairs is called 'armed'. The devil's club dominating the understory of these spruce forests is armed to the teeth. Nearly every part of this plant is covered in spines except the berries, which may be toxic to humans," Valdez Parks & Recreation

Safety Information

Avoid consuming the berries produced by Devil's Club; the berries are reported to be toxic to humans.

a safety advisory about dangerous plants

Photo from Valdez Parks & Recreation

Uses

Viereck writes in Alaska's Wilderness Medicines that "The Chugach Eskimos of Prince William Sound employed the ashes of Oplopanax horridum to treat burns." 

Valdez Highlights