I dunno….

This afternoon I made a trek back over to the middle school to survey a crop of what I had decided were wild grapes.

I’m not so sure.

They LOOK like grapes in the photo, don’t they? But…they’re only 1/4 inch in diameter. Not what I remember from the wild grapes of my childhood. The leaves look like grape leaves. And they’ve got grapey-looking tendrils all over the place. (I did a much better job of photographing the leaves and tendrils in my Urban Foraging post.)

I even tasted one! I didn’t swallow. Just tasted and got rid of it. It was really sour. Not especially “grapey.” But not vile, either.

Since they didn’t get very big, making anything out of them would be a challenge. But, unless anyone can tell me for sure that these are grapes – and not hemlock or something similar – I’m not going to risk it.

Speaking of mystery berries. Growing nearby are bazillions of these little babies. TONS of ’em. I sure wish I knew if THEY are edible, because there’s enough for jam for half the county, if so.

Anybody know what these guys are? Tammy? You out there? You’re from around these parts? How about it?

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8 Responses to “I dunno….”

  1. Tammy Says:

    Hey dear,

    I can’t say for sure, but I believe those are poke berries. I know my mom would not let us eat them as I believe they are poisonous. If I am correct, I believe Native Americans used them for dye and to paint their skin with. Again, without seeing them in person, I cannot be sure. However, more folk wisdom says that when poke berries ripen, Fall is around the corner. Some of the older folks are saying that this year they are ripening earlier than usual. Wish I could be of more help. : (

  2. iPost Says:

    They look like grapes to me and we have some around here too that don’t get very big and tend to stay sour. I wouldn’t risk it though, if you arent 100% positive. I don’t know about the other berry. What about taking it to a local nursery and asking? Make sure you take a leaf too for easier identification. Good luck!

  3. Tammy Says:

    Oh, and I was referring to the 2nd pic. The first pic looks like grapes to me, too.

  4. Daclaren Says:

    I can rule out pokeweed/poke berry for the second type of berry – it’s definitely not that. The berries on pokeweed are sort of pumpkins-shaped, and the plants have much thicker stems that are usually red or pink in color. I have a few pokeweed berry pics if you want to see any for comparison. We have lots of the stuff around the homestead, and Tammy’s right – they’re unfortunately poisonous. It’s only the seeds that are poisonous, but the berries are so small that it’s not really worth it to try to remove the seeds from them.

    I’m leaning toward some variety of black nightshade for your 2nd one, but I’m not sure at all. You may want to check out some pics of the different varieties on Google and try to match up the berries and leaves.

    I still haven’t found the identity for the mystery berries in your first pic, but as I mentioned before, we have lots of them, too. I haven’t tried eating any – following the lead of the birds and other wildlife on the homestead. These “grape” (or whatever they are) vines are winding well over ten feet up some of the trees around the edge of our yard, as well as mixing with some honeysuckle bushes. Like yours, the berries on ours are only about 1/4″ and the leaves look like grape leaves.

    The search continues… 😉

  5. noble pig Says:

    The first pic looks like grapes of an American Rootstock variety. Many of these varieites don’t taste good but you should really find out before eating them.

  6. Gettysburg Mom Says:

    I don’t have anything useful about identifying either… but, um- I usually ask for some of your canned goods, because they look so good- and um, I don’t want any of the nightshade jam. I’m sure it would look yummy if you canned it though! 🙂

  7. Little Sis Says:

    Well the top berries definitely look like grape. Wild berries vs. cultivated can frequently be smaller with less than perfect flavor we have come to expect in cultivated berries.

    The second, I don’t know either. I’ve seen it before though. All I can say, is it LOOKS POISONOUS. So don’t eat ’em.

    Try your local Cooperative Extension (usually a county run organization). I have found ours to be helpful in the past.

  8. Terry/tea4too0 Says:

    I think your bottom pic is of poison ivy, or oak, from the look of the leaves. Rule of thumb, 3 leaves, leave! Love your new office. Sweet person to do all that.

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