Berry identification

Foods for free. Anything you want to post about wild foods or foraging, hunting and fishing. Please note, this section includes pictures of hunting.

Sorry to say that Selfsufficientish or anyone who posts on here is liable to make a mistake when it comes to identification so we can't be liable for getting it wrong.
wolfywarploy
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:09 am

Berry identification

Post: #280018 wolfywarploy
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:06 pm

Hi guys I found these growing in a local park and wondered what they are.
Here's a pic
Bilberry maybe2(1).jpg
Bilberry maybe2(1).jpg (213.67 KiB) Viewed 2800 times


Its a low growing shrub type bush with those blue fruits. They are red and soft inside and the juice stains your fingers. I was thinking bilberry but the leaves are wrong lol
The leaves are shiny and tough like holly with spikes along the edges.
They are growing close to wild raspberries in a public park, surely they won't be something poisonous? Small children can easily reach them.
Thanks for looking and any replies! :iconbiggrin:

User avatar
Odsox
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4891
Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 2:21 pm
Location: West Cork, Ireland

Re: Berry identification

Post: #280019 Odsox
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:17 pm

Looks very like Mahonia.
I think the berries are edible although I've never tried them, so don't take my word for it.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

User avatar
MKG
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 5034
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 5:15 pm
Location: North Notts.

Re: Berry identification

Post: #280020 MKG
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:23 pm

If - IF - it's mahonia, then ...

"The berries are edible, and rich in vitamin C, though with a very sharp flavor."

... according to Wikipedia. Whether you would trust Wikipedia is another issue :iconbiggrin:

Mike
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)

User avatar
Zech
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:05 pm
latitude: 52.36
longitude: -3.84
Location: Mid Wales
Contact:

Re: Berry identification

Post: #280021 Zech
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:38 pm

wolfywarploy wrote:They are growing close to wild raspberries in a public park, surely they won't be something poisonous? Small children can easily reach them.

Hi there :icon_smile: When it comes to deciding whether to risk eating something or not, the general rule is that if you're not confident of what it is, don't eat it. I wouldn't advise passing on responsibility for making sure things are safe to civic gardeners, especially as public parks are not usually meant to be eaten :lol:
---
Rachel

Take nobody's word for it, especially not mine! If I offer you an ID of something based on a photo, please treat it as a guess, and a starting point for further investigations.

My blog: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.com/

wolfywarploy
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:09 am

Re: Berry identification

Post: #280023 wolfywarploy
Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:57 pm

Hi and thanks for the replies I'm off to do more googling! Lol

GrahamForager
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:19 am

Re: Berry identification

Post: #281213 GrahamForager
Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:20 am

Out foraging the trees and hedgerows, coming across this on my travels. Is it a plum, bullace, damson or something more sinister? All thought welcome thanks

image.jpg
image.jpg (154.22 KiB) Viewed 2244 times


image.jpg
image.jpg (78.48 KiB) Viewed 2244 times

User avatar
Zech
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:05 pm
latitude: 52.36
longitude: -3.84
Location: Mid Wales
Contact:

Re: Berry identification

Post: #281220 Zech
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:54 am

Hi Graham,

It's difficult to tell from photos of just the fruit, because they don't give us any information about size, or about the rest of the tree, e.g. what the leaves look like. On the other hand, with these plum-type fruit, it's very difficult to be sure in any case, because they cross with each other, so there are lots of hybrids around. Also, what's called a bullace, for example, in one part of the country may not be the same thing as a bullace in another part of the country.

So yes, it's probably one of those. Without better photos, I can't entirely rule out something more sinister, but if you're able to recognise it as "damson or bullace or something like that" then I should think it's very likely exactly that! :lol:
---
Rachel

Take nobody's word for it, especially not mine! If I offer you an ID of something based on a photo, please treat it as a guess, and a starting point for further investigations.

My blog: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.com/

GrahamForager
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:19 am

Re: Berry identification

Post: #281222 GrahamForager
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:22 pm

Thank you for your response. It's fascinating, the range of wild fruits available. I've photographed the larger fruit again with the leaf next to it and 10p for size perspective. Also found a smaller fruit and some of them were turning blue. Could these be sloes? Thanks again!
Attachments
image.jpg
image.jpg (1.01 MiB) Viewed 2244 times

User avatar
Zech
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:05 pm
latitude: 52.36
longitude: -3.84
Location: Mid Wales
Contact:

Re: Berry identification

Post: #281223 Zech
Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:40 pm

I just went out and picked a leaf from the sloe bush (otherwise known as blackthorn) growing by my driveway. I even found a 10p piece as well, and yes, they look exactly like your picture, so that small fruit is almost certainly a sloe. If you bite into it and it feels like it's instantly dried out the inside of your mouth, then it's definitely a sloe. The probably-bullace will be sweeter. If it's too sharp to enjoy, then it may not be ripe yet. I picked some damsons the other day and they weren't quite ripe, but I made fruit leather from them, which I sweeten anyway, and the tree was by a well-used public footpath, so I didn't reckon my chances of getting any a week later. On the other hand, you may be somewhere a bit warmer than Wales.

Welcome to 'ish, by the way. Why not pop over to the introductions area and tell us a little about yourself?
---
Rachel

Take nobody's word for it, especially not mine! If I offer you an ID of something based on a photo, please treat it as a guess, and a starting point for further investigations.

My blog: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.com/

GrahamForager
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:19 am

Re: Berry identification

Post: #281224 GrahamForager
Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:02 pm

Thanks you for the detective work. The small one is definitely a sloe. My face aged by 30 years biting into it! The larger fruit is sweeter but sour. Living in Worcestershire, I'd expect the growth to be slightly ahead of Wales, however don't want to pick the sloes too early. Only concern is they're very visible on a public path. What would you do? Furthermore should I leave the bullace longer or will it always be sour. Looking to add both to spirits. Elderberries I picked this morning will make a tincture soon!

User avatar
Zech
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 857
Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:05 pm
latitude: 52.36
longitude: -3.84
Location: Mid Wales
Contact:

Re: Berry identification

Post: #281225 Zech
Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:34 pm

Traditional advice is to pick sloes after the first frost, as freezing takes out the astringency. You can replicate this in a freezer, but I'm not sure how much flavour will be left if they're underripe. You could stick one in the freezer and see what it tastes like tomorrow. If it ends up insipid (I've tried it - you'd be surprised), I'd leave them a while and hope no-one beats you to it.

I picked bullaces last year (and that's when I did a lot of research into this family of fruit, because I didn't know what they were :study: I learnt that if the question is, "Is it a sloe or a damson?" the answer is probably bullace.), but I can't remember how sour they were. I think they were good to eat raw. Maybe someone who knows these fruit better can shed some light on that.

I'm jealous of your elderberries. There aren't many round here and I want to make elderberry wine!
---
Rachel

Take nobody's word for it, especially not mine! If I offer you an ID of something based on a photo, please treat it as a guess, and a starting point for further investigations.

My blog: http://growingthingsandmakingthings.blogspot.com/

GrahamForager
margo - newbie
margo - newbie
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:19 am

Re: Berry identification

Post: #281226 GrahamForager
Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:16 pm

I picked a kilo this morning. We've had a good harvest. Double checked that they weren't water hemlock berries just in case. Thanks for your help again!


Return to “Wild Foods and Foraging”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests