Is there a trick to when they taste good? They were not many in my area when I left twenty years ago and now I am back they are everywhere. I looked up everything I could about them to be sure I was identifying them right.
I tried one nice soft red berry the other day and it was like eating an unripe persimmon. What awful flavor. I could get used to it but am I missing something.
Mind you I am the guy as a kid use to walk through the oak thickets tasting acorns so I would know which oak trees had the best ones for survival food so I have high tolerance for bitter.
Renate Haeckler wrote:If it's banned in your state, could be for a good reason. The berries are good, but not that good. From someone who is dealing with a similar invasive species that's a real nuisance!!! It's not mildly invasive, as in seedlings show up nearby. Rather, the birds spread the seeds for miles - off of your property and onto other people's and also parkland. So you growing it because you want to will be affecting your neighbors and people further away.
There are so many alternatives, not worth bothering with that one, imho. My favorite, and a native plant, is aronia (choke berry).
We planted an autumn olive near the garden and it took over, grew huge, and was impossible to kill. It had thorns, well, twigs that function like thorns, much like wild plums do. While it may have been fixing nitrogen, it seemed to also have some allelopathic properties - nothing much grew under it or too close to it - my asparagus was withdrawing as the roots advanced. The berries are tiny and while they do taste good, are quite a bit of work to get off, I'd never try making jelly from them! More something to feed the chickens (who were enthusiastic) or the kids. The flowers smell heavenly, but not worth the trouble that bush caused.
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