Also it was from a small tree, at least 8 or 9 feet high so that pretty much eliminates all poisonous hemlock species, doesn’t it? If you have a tree not an herb then you do not have the toxic herb called hemlock. When it dies and dries it leaves a vertical standing small dead tree. Remember it is deadly and can kill in virtually minutes.

As for the veins they are tiny……….. difficult to see. Here is a photo of the elderberry flower to your left and pokeweed on your right. The leaves look exceptionally similar. Elderberry is a woody shrub, not a herbaceous plant. We recently thought we spotted elderberries at a friend’s house- but Tim’s discerning eye second guessed our initial identification. He told us of his herbalist friend who was an experienced forager. It has alternating, compound leaves, coarse, toothy. So while it's good to see the similarity in structure, and the trained botanist could easily tell the two apart, I'm personally much more comfortable just looking for thorns. Aralia spinosa sends out its smaller, often smooth branches in a distinctive way. I am familiar with Pokeweed but not elderberry in the wild. Occasionally an elderberry vein will terminate at a notch, but it is uncommon. (practice makes perfect). It has opposite compound leaves, feathery. At that time I hated to harvest them and have purple hands for about a week, now I would do anything to get them. It is often streaked with purple, or is splotched with purple. i have 17 acres in Johnson County Texas. Indeed, many call water hemlock the most deadly plant in North America. He says that he makes jelly and uses all the berries.

I’m wondering if I can make its syrup. It seems pretty well-established that eating parts of the plants other than the ripe cooked berries will effectively induce reverse-digestion.

This story should do it! This species produces severe pain and convulsions, torturing its victim horribly until death. The following is a “guest” post from my hubby- the guy who really knows his plants around here. Yepper…you can even make tea or syrup from them. Thank you.

I’ve found a few plants that look very very similar to the water hemlock as described above – similar leaf blade shape, similar alternate-compound leaves and similar overall compound leaf size, similar compound umbel white carrot-family flowers. You will note that while each species’ leaf has an acute tip (pointed) the elderberry leaf is round near the tip whereas the water hemlock leaf is not. Then yesterday I saw (recognized) my first water hemlock. I live out in the country and have found several areas that are loaded with wild bushes. What a great article! It’s important to check a few sources to make sure you ID a plant correctly. They are woody.

They have bark. I admit that I've made syrup out of curiosity, with zero observable ill-effects, but I wouldn't advise you to do the same. My understanding is that Niwatoko does not have edible berries, at least the Japanese do not eat them. But simply checking the main stalk for thorns will either immediately confirm or rule out Aralia spinosa. The famous compendium A Modern Herbal, published by Mrs. M. Grieve in 1931, says that Aralia's fresh bark induces vomiting, but the dried bark acts as a stimulant. Now the lenticels are corky lumps seen at left. But as far as peer-reviewed research goes... crickets.

?elderberry has all the chacteristics of elder tree but the leaves tend to yellowish green In the meantime, consider elderberry for your home medicine chest. Even when a vein splits the split ends go to the notches, not to the tips of the leaf. Thanks! The inner core of the trunk and branches — the pith — is soft and can be easily reamed out.

Generally said elderberry fruit is edible, the entire water hemlock is deadly. I always recommend 3-5 field guides when learning about wild edibles. In light of this total lack of scientific research, it is at least interesting to look at some of the traditional and folk uses of the plant. We since have moved to Florida. There is no ambiguity. The plant is hairless. To read more about different colored elderberries, click here. I also found occasional mentions of the plant treating skin conditions, respiratory problems, and rattlesnake bites, among other things. Ocassionally the entire older plant will be purple. I've scoured the internet and a few books, and can't find any instances of people getting sick from ripe, cooked Aralia berries. I’ve been researching how to tell the difference but does it grow wild in north texas? The Potentially Toxic Elderberry Look-Alike October 6, 2017 Aralia spinosa, often called devil's walking stick, is commonly confused for the American elderberry.

I recently moved in to a new neighborhood and new house and i just realized that there was a plant that looked like there were blue berries and so i did research and i found this and it was very helpful! I wish I had wrote down what type of tree that was. I always recommend folks to check 3-5 field guides when identifying a plant and to check with someone who can verify the plant before consuming. The Elderberry, Sambucus canadensis, is a shrub with bark, to ten feet or more. In fact of all its purported medical uses, relieving toothaches seems to be the most common I encountered. I am now confident that what I found is Watercress. You will get many ideas to make the syrup.

I have a bush on my property that resembles an elderberry, but it is more viney. Foraged greens like pokeweed need to be boiled two or three times to make the green palatable. about 1/4 is seeds floating on the top of the I have eaten an elder-like type of berry but its leaves are flat and oval and stems are mainly green. The lack of research is a bit surprising to me considering the wealth of folklore surrounding the plant.

Years ago at Green Nations I went on a walk w Doug Elliot. Elderberry most commonly grows in a bushy, shrub-like pattern. Yes! Elderberry like zones 3-8. Someone gave me 4 gallons of frozen. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); The most common confused questions I hear on identification are about elderberries and the water hemlock. Such a big big world of plants out there. Touching the roots or bark of the plant has also been reported to cause skin reactions in some individuals, but I have not experienced this myself. Mary Odders. The wood is toxic and has poisoned folks who have made whistles out of the green wood. The main thing that makes these Dogwoods more likely candidates for elderberry confusion than other look-alikes like Pokeberry and Water Hemlock is the fact that they too are shrubs of very similar proportions (from 6-10′ high) to elderberry. How horrible! This is a wonderful description of an edible one. On our own plants, we have berries that we have already harvested, and also unripened berries on the same plant. There's no scientific research to suggest the plant is beneficial, or even totally safe in the long term. When the first time I saw the beautiful load of elderberry fruits on this plant at the edge of my old house I was shocked, assuming it must be poisonous. I’m glad you found the article useful.

It’s pretty easy. It’s smooth-surface. by the way, my mother is Danish, and we grew up with a great amazing Scandinavian traditional use of elderberries: elderberry soup!! They often start at a small base in the ground and then billow outwards.

Are there any dangers to a pregnant lady when picking the fruit or in drinking the cordial (if we eventually have the courage)?

Woody. it was especially good for colds and flus. If you are not sure, please don’t eat them and be careful with children too. The veins end between the teeth. Look for a 9 to 12 ft (2.7 to 3.7 m) tall shrub. The small, white, five-petal flowers, about 1/4 inch across, are produced in rounded, somewhat flat-topped clusters, called cymes, at the ends of the branches.

As you saw in the previous photo, the smaller branches may be smooth or have very limited thorns.

Learning to identify the two is very important.

17 Replies. Judith, My tree ? I’ve also added that sometimes it can smell like mouse urine, as if that is a help to most of us…. Elderberries are tiny. It is usually at least purple at the nodes and sometimes young plants can be entirely dusky purple. It’s always good to get 3-5 sources for plant ID. I have eaten elderberry blossoms all my life. Without a picture that could be made different species. Those produce seeds, not fruit. That has been my observation as well when studying them in the wild. re-elderberry: Does anyone know for certain if you can use the red and green elderberries for elderberry syrup? When I tried to identify them, I was pretty certain (and shocked) it was water hemlock. When crushed it can have a pleasant liquorish or anise scent, or it can also smell like mouse urine. I will be selling this so I want to be certain I am following the proper standards or will give the berries back as it is a lot of the red and green ones. The berries have shorter stems, are closely attached to the main  stem and again are not edible. I’m not finding a lot of ways to ID carrot family plants besides water/poison hemlock and wild carrot and a few others. Thank you for the info, Mark.

Thank you, Al, for your comments. Naturopathic physicians use the root of pokeweed in their practices. Are there any other plants that looks like elderberry that are poisonous if so and how to identify it I have some pictures of a plant I believe is elderberry I was just wanting a second opinion . Thanks much for the continuing education. It produces a fire cracker-like explosion white blossom that made up of many smaller umbrella-like blossoms. Water Hemlock veins terminate in the notches. Near the berry clusters, the branches tend to have a hint of redness to them like I’ve seen in some elderberries, but not much and not all. The birds adore these fruits in the fall and the plant dies back in our winters and comes back in the spring. They were the best thing. I just made elderberry jam. Pokeweed is typically shorter than elderberry, easily bent and can be invasive.

Though the flowers are different, the purple berry and red stems can be easily confused with elderberry. It has nodes, which are swellings where leaves attach or used to attach. Lastly, the “hemlock” tree is a totally different species and issue. I still have to process it to make a drink etc. But if you cook the ripe berries, they seem to be safe to consume in normal amounts.