Deathberries, also known by Twolegs as yew berries,[1] are a type of poisonous fruit resembling red olives. They 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 most other animals, and Twolegs.[4]

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



In The Prophecies Begin arc

Forest of Secrets

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

The Darkest Hour

When Sorrelkit overhears Darkstripe talking to Blackfoot, Darkstripe feeds her deathberries to keep her quiet. Yarrow serves as an antidote by causing her to vomit up the deathberries. Darkstripe is then exiled from the Clan, but promises revenge.

In The New Prophecy arc


Deathberries hidden in a rabbit is the first tactic used to kill Sharptooth, thought up by Squirrelpaw, 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 and instead tries to attack the living cats, but he is later killed by a falling stalactite, along with Feathertail.

In Power of Three arc


At the Moonpool, on the night of the half moon, Littlecloud offers advice to Leafpool about using deathberries in the medicine den. 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.


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. This plan later fails in withdrawing the snake from its hiding place, though it does not appear again.
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.

In the A Vision of Shadows arc

The Raging Storm

Alderheart uses the deathberry flesh to cure Puddleshine of a serious infection that ravaged his system after receiving many cuts from barbed wire. The seeds Alderheart removed and buried in ShadowClan were used by Juniperclaw to poison SkyClan's fresh-kill, almost killing Sparrowpelt.

In the The Broken Code arc

Veil of Shadows

Shadowsight eats a deathberry in order to bring himself close to death so he can search for Bramblestar's spirit. He enters a state similar to his earlier experience of being a ghost, and is able to quickly travel to the Moonpool by envisioning it. He then enters the Dark Forest and finds Bramblestar before Puddleshine feeds him yarrow, forcing him to vomit up the berry and reviving him before he can finish speaking with the ghost.

Darkness Within

When trying to come up with ideas to kill Bramblestar's impostor, Mothwing suggests giving him deathberries, but the leaders disagree, claiming that Ashfur should die a real warrior's death.

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.

The Ultimate Guide

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

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 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
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