Edible(?) Berries to ID

Client is wondering if the berries on her “tree” are edible & would like them identified, if possible.  She has picked 2 buckets of the berries already.


One comment

  1. Michelle, No, these berries are from the horribly invasive common buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica. The fruit is poisonous and causes a harsh cathartic effect in mammals and birds who eat the fruit. You will be spending the day in the bathroom with diarrhea if you eat them. Please tell the homeowner to get rid of all buckthorns in their area. The plant is dioecious, meaning the entire plant is either male or female. The female plants are very invasive due to the fruit, but the male plants are invasive too as they sucker from the rootstock. This is one of the worst plants to have escaped cultivation and is an overwintering host for the soybean aphid and is a carrier of wheat rust. Either way, get rid of it, especially in the fall by either basal bark applications of a systemic herbicide or cut the entire plant to the ground and immediately treat the cut stump outer edge with a systemic herbicide to make sure the roots get killed. If not sprayed, the plant will simply grow back next year. Throw the fruit away that was collected as composting it only invites more seedlings, plus the birds will eat the fruit, fly away and deposit the seeds everywhere.

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