Mom said it produces purple berries. can I eat it?

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 3
    At least once... – Stephie Jun 22 '16 at 16:21
  • At least once what? – black thumb Jun 22 '16 at 16:38
  • Eat it. Old mushroom collector's joke.... – Stephie Jun 22 '16 at 16:47
  • it could kill you or make you very sick – black thumb Jun 22 '16 at 16:48
  • 2
    That's what the joke is referring to. You can eat everything once. – Stephie Jun 22 '16 at 17:16

Looks like Common Buckthorn, though it's hard to see. Those berries would be a laxative... or it might be chokecherries, which are edible. Again, it's really hard to tell from the photo.

Chokecherries usually hang kind of separately from the leaves (compared with Common Buckthorn).

enter image description here

Edit- Taxonomic and other common names added for clarification:

Rhamnus cathartica (buckthorn, common buckthorn or purging buckthorn)

Prunus virginiana (bitter-berry, chokecherry, Virginia bird cherry, and western chokecherry)

  • 1
    Thanks, if it is buckthorn the city I live in would be guilty of introducing it., and it's growing between rows of pine trees. – black thumb Jun 22 '16 at 16:37
  • If it is Rhamnus cathartica, don't eat it. From old book, it seems that it is very dangerously laxative (only strong farmers could handle it). – Giacomo Catenazzi Jun 23 '16 at 14:19
  • I can handle strong laxatives, I'll clog a 15 lbs suction toilet. – black thumb Jun 24 '16 at 2:15
  • now that the berries are in season, can you tel me what it is? – black thumb Aug 15 '16 at 22:07
  • It's still kind of hard to be sure but I think it's buckthorn. I edited my answer to include pictures showing what to look for. What you want to look at, is how the berries are connected. Are they in bunches or are they individually connected at the base of the leaves? Also, are the leaves serrated (like a saw) or smooth on the edges? – Ben Welborn Aug 15 '16 at 22:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.