Identify wild fruit tree

kingwood(9)February 11, 2008

Attached is a photo of a wild tree growing along the bayou in downtown Houston, TX. It is approximately 15ft tall with many purple berries that resemble grumichama. Can anyone help with identifying this tree and fruit. The photo is not that good due to camera phone. Thanks

Here is a link that might be useful: wildfruit

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gonebananas_gw

Mayhaw? Size of tree and fruit and the location are about right. Purplish, I'm not sure.

(I can't get the link to open to see the photo.)

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:21PM
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kingwood(9)

Here is a new link for the photo. Don't know how to put photo in message. I hope this one is good. Thanks

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:00PM
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kingwood(9)

Try this link for photo

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 10:11PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Looks like Ligustrum japonicum.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 11:29PM
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chills71(Zone 6b Mi)

Mahonia?

~Chills

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

bboy I agree. Here is a picture I found to compare with:

For side-by side comparison, here is the above:

-- looks like a match to me. That plus the fact that it is known as an invasive exotic.

Scott

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 12:14PM
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kiwinut

I think bboy nailed it. Also known as Japanese privet.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 12:18PM
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thisisme(az9b)

Can the fruit be eaten?

What does it taste like?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 2:28PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Going by the leaves shown closeup shot posted here may possibly show L. lucidum. These two are confused in cultivation, some pictures show the wrong one. L. japonicum forms prevalent in gardens here have markedly thick, spongy leaves whereas L. lucidum does not. L. lucidum also tends to have bigger, more diffuse inflorescences but perhaps not all parts of the tree produce ones resulting in fruit clusters always apparently different - it is easy to tell the two kinds apart when you can see more of the specimen than just one fruiting shoot.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 2:44PM
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kingwood(9)

Thanks for info. I had been wondering if it was edible also. Good to know it is toxic. It looks just like the closer photo, but the berries on the bayou tree seem to be larger. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 4:44PM
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kiwinut

Some members of the genus are toxic and the raw leaves are probably toxic, but the fruit apparently can be eaten, or at least the roasted seeds-if one is starving. This is from Plants for a Future.

"The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[61, 177]. Young shoots - cooked. A famine food, used when all else fails[179]. The shoots contain a glycoside and are probably toxic[K]."

    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 5:00PM
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