Sunday, September 21, 2008

Unidentified Plant


Hello Fellow Herbalists,
I wondered if anyone can identify this shrub with purple berries for me. Is it something that can be used, and if so, what parts?
Thanks!
Ruth :)

12 comments:

Casbah Kitten said...

Don't know what it is but I have to say it's awfully pretty!

Walk in the Woods said...

Oh, you should be able to find this one in one of your books!

Funny - I was just admiring one of these wild shrubs this morning and thought that I might return with my camera. Seems now I don't have to!

With that . . . let's see if anyone else wants to take a stab at this common local medicinal.

:D

RainbowMom said...

I have no idea.. looks like a lovely purple grape to me! I look forward to finding out what it is tho. :) Peace.

Walk in the Woods said...

Well now ... I'm having doubts about what I think this is. So ... I'll say that I *think* this plant is:

Viburnum acerifolium, AKA: maple-leaved viburnum.

There's a gazillion viburnums, it seems, so I'll see if we can get some verification on this plant.

Tina Sams said...

I believe they are wild grapes. I think some call them "fox grapes" not nearly as sweet as cultivated, but they grow in the woods here too. Lots of people eat them - just like other wild fruits. Do a google image search for wild grape and see if they look like the other pictures?

Lucas said...

I think it can be blackcurrant, blueberry, billberry,Huckleberry or any Vaccinium. Search about them. :D

Ruth said...

Rose, I think you're right. I believe it is Viburnum acerifolium, via photo comparison on the internet. I tasted one of the berries, and it was very firm with a slightly bitter/tart taste in the center, and a slightly sweet taste from the juice. I don't think the berries are ripe yet; the birds haven't eaten them anyway. The shrub is about 3 feet tall and growing near my compost pile which is in close proximity to my maple tree and my neighbor's wooded backyard. Per my internet search, this is the environment most suited for this shrub. Now I'll have to research what parts of the shrub can be used and their medicinal aspects. Thanks Rose!

Walk in the Woods said...

Wow - thanks to so many for the input!

I can say with a significant degree of confidence that it is *not*:
~ wild grape (I know them well -and they're past)
~ blackcurrant (ditto to above)
~ blueberry (ditto again)

I've seen bilberries growing wild further south, but not around here, and huckleberry I don't know.

Walk in the Woods said...

BTW - Elaine Frost of Frostfire Farm agrees that this is Viburnum acer. She has one in her garden field. :)

The Plant Whisperer said...

I also think it's the maple leaf viburnum (V. Acerifolium). We found some this past week and the berries are delicious to eat, like dates or rasins. Steve Brill notes that no viburnums are poisonous. Hope he's right 'cause I've been tasting a lot!

Enjoy!

Lucas said...

I was reading about the Viburnum acerifolium in wikipedia, and I think it can be this. :D

fortitude said...

Here in Northeast TN we'd call those Muscadine grapes. They have a WONDERFUL flavor and some people swear by the rich sweetnesses of Muscadine Wine.

Ruth