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Elderberry?  RSS feed

 
Jenn Perez
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Yesterday I brought a bunch of these elderberry looking berries home but I am not positive they are actual elderberries. Are there any other wild plants that produce berries like this? I found them at the top of a mountain along a ridge in NJ.
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Mike Cantrell
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DEFINITELY NOT ELDERBERRIES.

Don't eat them till you identify them.

The little leafy thing at the bottom of the berry (I forget the name) suggests they're related to blueberries, so they MAY be good to eat. But identify them first, THEN eat them. Either way, not elderberries.
 
Jenn Perez
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I finally found out what this is at 2am last night Wild Sarsaparilla!
 
Dave Lodge
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Wild Sarsaparilla doesn't look right to me but its definitely close. In the ginseng family for sure.
 
leila hamaya
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hey cool that you figured it out.

i was going to say spikenard, the california spikenard looks a lot like elderberry from afar, so its a plant i have come to think of "not elderberry", tho it has valuable medicinal properties too. when i see it up close its obviously different, but just to say i have made that same mistake before thinking it was an elderberry

anywho i looked it up and apparently they are cousins, as well as related to ginseng

http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/usdisp/aralia-race.html

http://www.swsbm.com/FOLIOS/AraliFol.pdf
 
wayne stephen
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I cannot figure this one out , but I don't believe it's in the ginseng family . Definitely not an elderberry . The leaves resemble elderberry and so do the berries . But the flower cluster on an elderberry is like a wild carrot , flatter and wider than these and the berries in a tight cluster . These flowers are almost ball shaped with berries farther apart .
 
leila hamaya
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wayne stephen wrote:I cannot figure this one out , but I don't believe it's in the ginseng family . Definitely not an elderberry . The leaves resemble elderberry and so do the berries . But the flower cluster on an elderberry is like a wild carrot , flatter and wider than these and the berries in a tight cluster . These flowers are almost ball shaped with berries farther apart .


ah just re read my post and realized i wasnt that clear.

i believe it is a spikenard, genus aralia, of some kind.

turns out "wild sarsaparilla" is also an aralia, closely related to the plant i know out here as spikenard.
thats what the OP thinks, and i think shes right, or at least very close.....
perhaps its a slightly different cousin of aralia nudicaulis, aka "wild sarsaparilla", one of the other aralia species.

"wild sarsaparilla" is also called "false sarsaparilla" and there is another plant family that usually is called sarsaparilla, different genus.

well me and the OP could be wrong, but i still think thats what it is.
 
wayne stephen
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I agree in terms of the flower and berry . I don't believe the leaves look like the aralia family . See the leaves in this link to wiki site on spikenards :

http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=mcafee&p=california+spikenard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aralia_racemosa1.jpg

The leaves shown above still seem like elder to me .

What a puzzle !
 
wayne stephen
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Maybe Bristly Sasparilla ?

http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/scripts/detail.asp?SpCode=ARAHIS
 
leila hamaya
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i do see what you mean about the leaves, wayne.

i chalked it up to the difference that occurs within different locales, i have found that a tricky part when trying to ID from photos...quite often there are subtle and not so subtle difference in color, shape and other differences based on regional factors (more or less water, nutrients, hybridization, etc).

i have found theres a lot of variation in photographs online, perhaps some of it is mis identification, some of it is from hybridized local varieties, some of it is from different growing conditions, it makes surfing plant images and making positive ID more difficult. also a lot of plants look different depending on their age, this is especially true with trees, also shrubs and other perennials.

IMO this plant pictured in the OP seems very young, and so the leaves are still a bit curled and very vibrant. i am not familiar with wild sarsaparillia, or with bristly sarsaparillia , never seen them up close, but it does still seem very similar in many ways to the local aralia, especially the berry. that last picture of "bristly sarsaparilla" does have similar leaves.
 
wayne stephen
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If this is bristly sasparilla then the lower stems will have bristles . Not trying to split hairs , just trying to help properly ID in case edibility is a question . These berries will apparently make you sick .
 
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