Wild fruits - Safety Check

JoppaRich(7b)June 10, 2013

I'm in the process of buying a property, and was walking the property line, and found these. They look like blueberries to me. Anyone know if there are any poisonous berries that look like blueberries?

Blueberries anyone?

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Wild Grapes?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:24AM
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Where is the property, that would help.

I don't have direct experience with them, but I wouldn't be surprised if the first ones are some type of huckleberries.

And yes, the second does look like grapes.

Have you done a google search for poison berries?

There are a lot of round blue/purple/black berries that are poisonous, but I don't see any that look so much like a vaccinium in fruit and especially in leaf.

Here is a link that might be useful: huckleberries

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 2:48AM
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I'm guessing you're in NC. I"m not telling you to eat them but they look like Vaccinium elliottii blueberries and native muscadines or possibly fox grapes google these names to double check bring the leaves inside with you and the fruits. good luck

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 6:56AM
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I agree that the first look like huckleberries. Definitely something in the blueberry tribe, of which there are many members, so totally safe. The second does indeed look like wild grapes, but check into the look-alike ampelopsis to be sure since the image of the leaves in not so clear.

Lucky you...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 9:36AM
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Property is in Richmond VA, if that helps.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 9:42AM
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I can't imagine that the first picture is anything but some kind of edible blueberry relative. I wouldn't hesitate to eat them if I could find any ripe ones.

The second picture looks like a muscadine grape from the leaves (but it's not a great picture of the leaves) but not what I'd expect from a muscadine by the developing fruit. Wild muscadines are generally very good eating, just not as big and maybe not quite as sweet as the domesticated cultivars. The only other wild grape that I know locally is, so far as I know, perfectly safe to eat, but very small, almost all seed, and what flesh there is isn't at all appealing.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 12:03PM
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All Vitis species are completely edible, varying in size, flavor, and seediness. But even the smallest and seediest are excellent for juice, jelly, wine, etc. just no good for fresh eating.

With wild grapes the challenge is finding a productive vine as most just put out a whole lot of vegetative growth and very little fruit. Larger, tastier wild grapes of the species you commonly have in Virginia are certainly out there, it is just a matter of locating them at the right time.

You should get a good book on wild edibles and learn their characteristics along with those of the toxic look-alikes if you're anticipating foraging...

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 3:51PM
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If the grapes there are like the ones here you will have more than you know what to do with. On my property I just back my truck underneath a tree they are growing in and fill the back of my truck full. They are great for making wine, jelly, juice,etc.. You can eat them fresh as well but the skin is usually tough.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 4:30PM
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The blueberry relative could also be huckleberry, deerberry (marginally edible), or sparkleberry (basically inedible). None is poisonous.

The grapes can't be poisonous either, but may not be tasty.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 8:36PM
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