Deathberries, also known by Twolegs as yew berries,[1] are a type of poisonous fruit that can kill a cat in seconds. Deathberries come from the dark-leaved[2] yew bush[1] and can be characterized by their bright red color. They are referred to as night-seeds by the Tribe of Rushing Water;[3] They are also poisonous to Twolegs, and most animals.[4]

Note: The red flesh and skin of the fruit is harmless, but the seeds are extremely poisonous.[4]
E yew berry full



In the The Prophecies Begin arc

Forest of Secrets

When Cloudkit is out looking for herbs with Fireheart and Cinderpaw, he almost eats some deathberries. Cinderpaw, the medicine cat apprentice, stops him from an almost-certain death by knocking him away from the berries.[5]
Yellowfang feeds three deathberries to blinded Brokenstar, because she knows he is on his last life. The berries leave him withering in pain for several minutes before they kill him completely. Fireheart watches his death from afar, showing him just how deadly they can be.[6]

The Darkest Hour

When Sorrelkit overhears Darkstripe talking to Blackfoot, Darkstripe feeds her deathberries to keep her quiet.[7] Yarrow serves as an antidote, however, as it causes her to vomit up the deathberries. Darkstripe is then exiled from the Clan and promises revenge.[8]

In The New Prophecy arc


Deathberries hidden in a rabbit is the first tactic thought up by Squirrelpaw to kill Sharptooth, in order to stop his reign of terror over the Tribe of Rushing Water. This plot fails to kill Sharptooth, as he does not take the bait, but he is later killed by a falling stalactite, along with Feathertail.[9]

In the Power of Three arc


At the Moonpool, on the night of the half moon, Littlecloud offers Leafpool deathberries, strictly for medicinal purposes, of course. He says that ShadowClan uses them to end a would-be prolonged or suffered death of a sick or grievously wounded cat. Leafpool politely declines the offer, but Jaypaw is intrigued by the idea of holding a cat's life in his own paws.[10]


Leafpool and Jayfeather gather deathberries and stuff a dead mouse full of them. They put the mouse near the rocks where Honeyfern was killed, in an attempt to lure and kill the snake.[11] This plan later fails in withdrawing the snake from its hiding place, though it does not appear again.[12]
Hollyleaf, after revealing to all four Clans at the Gathering that she, Lionblaze, and Jayfeather are the children of Leafpool and Crowfeather, confronts Leafpool in her den, and threatens to force Leafpool to eat deathberries. Leafpool reasons with her, saying that she had lost her kits, her one love, and her calling as a medicine cat. She asks Hollyleaf which would be easier, to die or to go on living. Hollyleaf lets her go, knowing she will be more anguished living.[13]

In the Field Guides

Secrets of the Clans

Deathberries are mentioned in the Important Medicines and their Uses section. They are described to be red berries that are fatally poisonous to kits, warriors, and elders.[1]

The Ultimate Guide

On Yellowfang and Brokenstar's pages, it is mentioned that Yellowfang fed her son deathberries in order to kill him.[14][15]

See also

References and citations

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 136
  2. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 293
  3. Revealed in Moonrise, chapter 22
  4. 4.0 4.1 Revealed on Wikipedia's page for the Taxus Baccata
  5. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 85
  6. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 294
  7. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 88
  8. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 117
  9. Revealed in Moonrise, page 375
  10. Revealed in Eclipse, page 55
  11. Revealed in Sunrise, page 233
  12. Revealed in Sunrise, page 274
  13. Revealed in Sunrise, page 309
  14. Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 23
  15. Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 69