I have some blue berries (I don't know any better, so maybe blueberries?) growing in my yard. The bush is around 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The berries are very bitter, and have a hard seed inside them.

I live in southern New Hampshire, and the bushes are directly next to a pond.

Any thoughts?

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  • 3
    Not a blueberry! I think it is a dogwood! Not sure you should be taste testing either. But you are still here so whew! We'll be able to tell you shortly!!
    – stormy
    Aug 19, 2014 at 0:51
  • 1
    I tasted and spit out (and then spit over and over!)
    – JMD
    Aug 19, 2014 at 0:52
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    Grin!!! Don't do that ever again. There are so many poisonous plants out there...will be back shortly. If not me, I know someone will know for sure what you've got. Funny!
    – stormy
    Aug 19, 2014 at 0:54

2 Answers 2


Looks like silky dogwood, Cornus amomum.

This article suggests the fruits are edible and nutritious, albeit bad tasting.

Silk Dogwood is also known as Silky Cornel and Swamp Dogwood. I acquired this based on the description in the Oikos catalog. It says "Fruit has high amounts of calcium –excellent for good skeletal growth in wildlife and high amounts of fat energy." I thought it would be interesting to have a fruit with fat in the pulp, like an avocado. That is probably a stretch because I can't find any modern facts about human edible uses of Silky Dogwood, but I want to try. Like other dogwoods, if it tastes bad fresh, it may taste good after frost. Since I can't find the facts I need with Google, I will make this page the authoritive resource for the human use of Silky Dogwood.

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  • 2
    Because of @stormy 's suggestion of it being dogwood I started looking at pictures. I saw there were many, may varieties and I'm glad you were able to pinpoint the exact one! Looking at the picture you provided and more from Google, I can confirm that it is indeed Silky Dogwood, thanks!
    – JMD
    Aug 19, 2014 at 0:59
  • Yup, this is what I came up with J.! There are a few other candidates but this looks closest. Swamp dogwood is the same as Silky?
    – stormy
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:07
  • @stormy you have them over in La Pine?
    – J. Musser
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:09
  • Not that I've seen or would expect. Very familiar with stolonifera but if I were a dogwood this is not where I'd hang out. Yes, one can grow them here if in a protected microclimate but as a native in the forest, I still have to run into them.
    – stormy
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:12

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cornus+amomum I have identified this Silky Dogwood in the woods in East Central Alabama. After researching I copied the link that explains the berries are edible and many parts can be used medicinally.

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