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Thread: Help identifying berry

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    Default Help identifying berry

    Hey everyone, so I poked around the forum and the Internet but for the life of me I cannot find this berry online.
    Here is the a description of the plant. I have also attached pics. So this stuff is very common here in the PNW (SW WA). I usually find it in around small thickets typically with Doug Fir and along with other berry's such as Salal, Oregon grape and red huckleberry. It is a bush like shrub about 2-3 feet tall and can sprawl and form carpet like areas. The berries grow on stems in a similar manner to Salal and maybe even blueberry. The leaves are oval like and get dark blotches as they mature. The fruit starts out as small green berry's then turns a very dark purple when ripe. It also has a hairy and sticky like surface. The bottom of the berry has a cross like bottom. The inside of the berry looks similar to a blueberry. I have been looking for about a week as to what it can be but I just cannot find out what it is and what makes me even more frustrated is that this stuff grows everywhere and stares me blatantly in my face. Any help or direction will be greatly appreciated. Thanks eveyone!


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    Ok so I am having problems posting the pics I will try to get that fixed. But they do look similar to a teaberry just dark purple.

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    So what does it taste like?.........a little bit won't kill ya.....and tell you right away when or not it is eatable.
    Taste bad....makes you sick....don't eat it.

    Do it next to the road... or close to a phone......so you can call for help and find you easy.
    Always save piece to show the EMT's what you ate...(Per DW)
    Last edited by hunter63; 07-14-2015 at 10:52 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    So what does it taste like?.........a little bit won't kill ya.....and tell you right away when or not it is eatable.
    Taste bad....makes you sick....don't eat it.

    Do it next to the road... or close to a phone......so you can call for help and find you easy.
    Always save piece to show the EMT's what you ate...(Per DW)
    You ain't right man ! LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lamewolf View Post
    You ain't right man ! LOL
    Used to pheasant hunt with a older guy (was back then...LOL) from Poland.
    He like to pick mushrooms....many he didn't know what they were, as they were not the same as "old country".

    He was kinda a big guy so would wait till he was next to the road before he would taste them......make it easier to load him up to go to the emergency room.
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    Take a sample of the stem and berry to your local county extension office. They should be able to identify it for you.

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    Thanks everyone for the responses. I did taste the berry, a small bit of it. It has a fruity taste to it that has a consistency similar to blueberry but not tart. I don't want to say it was sweet but it did have a hint of that. It has been very dry here for weeks so i think that is why the taste is almost gone out of it. I did not have any side effects to eating it that i could tell.

    Rick, pardon the dumb question. But what is an Extension office?

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    Your county will have an agricultural extension office. Yours will be hosted by Washington State University. If you google your county name and extension office (i.e. Lewis County WA extension office) you'll find their web site, address and telephone number. You might also look for Master Garderners Lewis County WA (or whatever your county is). Master Gardeners is part of the county extension service.

    And NEVER put something in your mouth if you don't know what it is. That can be a very dangerous game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    .........
    And NEVER put something in your mouth if you don't know what it is. That can be a very dangerous game.
    Awww, Man.....You just took the fun out of it......
    But,... Yeah Rick is correct.
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    Thanks Rick for the info, I found a website and was able to submit a question and was even able to upload my pictures. The site is pretty cool I have tons of questions about our local flora and fauna. As soon as I get an answer I will let you guys know too for those who were interested. And I don't want to come off as a stupid individual I am clearly aware of the risks in consuming unknown items, I did only try a very small portion on the tip of the tongue and waited for any effects and did not have any. Then I ran home and found this site lol. Thank you all for your help I hope to continue to learn interesting things from you all.

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    The percentage of plants and fungi that are highly toxic to people is actually very low, but there is always a chance that you are highly allergic to something that you have never tried before, even if it is a very small chance. Best to try new things when you are not by yourself deep in the wilderness. Great idea to take photos of things you find in the woods/wilderness or actual samples to your county extension agent or master gardener help desk or certified nursery person at a good garden center etc and get a positive I.D. Also find a good field guide for your region. I need to do this more myself. There are many plants and insects etc. that I have tried (to eat) but I am always trying or finding out about more from master naturalists etc. Some taste very bad or blah or are difficult to collect (in sufficient quantity) or difficult to prepare but the woods have a lot of stuff that can be eaten if you are REALLY, REALLY hungry and some is actually quite good at the right times of the year, then other times it is just bad or not worth the trouble, i.e. tough and bitter or whatever. Takes a lot of time to learn and a lot of labor to gather. Not a grocery store.

    BTW I hinted but did not say: Just because someone else can eat a bunch of something or a bear/raccoon/bird eats something does not mean that you can eat it with no problems. You may be allergic or you may get the squirts and become dehydrated, which can be very bad if you have a long way to hike out of there.
    Last edited by TXyakr; 07-16-2015 at 01:33 AM. Reason: BTW use common sense, learn what u can eat

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    Can also do a scratch test, scratch hard enough to make a minor abrasion and rub the item in question on the scratch. circle with a pen and watch for a few hours. If stuck out in the wild, and desperate one more step to try before putting something into your system that can be potentially catastrophic.

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    Default Foraging safely, sort of

    Quote Originally Posted by Shrimp24 View Post
    HIt is a bush like shrub about 2-3 feet tall and can sprawl and form carpet like areas. The berries grow on stems in a similar manner to Salal and maybe even blueberry. The leaves are oval like and get dark blotches as they mature. The fruit starts out as small green berry's then turns a very dark purple when ripe. It also has a hairy and sticky like surface. The bottom of the berry has a cross like bottom. The inside of the berry looks similar to a blueberry. I have been looking for about a week as to what it can be but I just cannot find out what it is and what makes me even more frustrated is that this stuff grows everywhere and stares me blatantly in my face. Any help or direction will be greatly appreciated. Thanks eveyone!
    Please post a photo or link to photo on photo bucket or FB, google+ or whatever when you can.

    My method of foraging is basically to collect wild berries, grain (seeds of wild rye, oats, other grass etc), nuts from oak, pecan, hickory, stems and roots, then process them if necessary according to recommended directions from books and well regarded websites and certified naturalists and expert survivalist I have know for a long time etc. Then just add these to the food that I am packing to supplement it, not replace it or expect to survive on just foraged foods and small game and fish etc. That would be a rapid weight loss method, there is far more forage food in most suburban neighborhoods than true wilderness areas because most people live in areas near large rivers, lakes and water/irrigate their yards, feed the wildlife (bird feeders or accidentally with pet feeders) and plant many fruit and nut (acorn) trees etc. A true wilderness in my experience is typically very barren most of the year.

    Edit: Allergic reactions vary a lot from person to person. This is why I don't like rules of thumb like color of berry: red, blue, black, white etc. Much better to make a very positive identification of the exact species of the berry you have found not just the general genus or whatever.

    I know one lady who is so allergic to holly berries that if we even throw in the fire some holly wood with berries on it she will react. Many people show no reaction to poison sumac (Toxicodendron) or related poison ivy/oak etc. but others if you use fire wood that has a little poison ivy vine on it the vapor will send them into shock, you may need a Sat phone to call for helicopter evacuation or at least an Epi-Pen or Antihistamine in you FAK. Sure don't want to cook your food over a fire like that!

    Once I tied my kayak up beside the Rio Chama (North Central, New Mexico) at a primitive campsite and told my friends well that place was not popular due the the poison ivy next to it ;-). Next morning I found that someone had cut back the ivy, guess they thought mother nature needed pruning ha ha ha. I was just careful not to rub against it so I would not spread the oil to others. I try to leave nature as I find it and am very observant of hazards: plants, animals, minerals and weather (falling rocks & trees, rushing water, lighting etc). People who go around trying to make the wilderness safe for humans make me laugh.
    Last edited by TXyakr; 07-17-2015 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Positive ID on berries etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TXyakr View Post
    [COLOR="#B22222"]... People who go around trying to make the wilderness safe for humans make me laugh.
    The wilderness is safe for no living thing. The trick is to make humans safer in the wilderness. All the wild places are slowly being replaced by cattle ranches and farms. soon the only truly wild places will be inhospitable areas like the Arctic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidlastink View Post
    The wilderness is safe for no living thing. The trick is to make humans safer in the wilderness. All the wild places are slowly being replaced by cattle ranches and farms. soon the only truly wild places will be inhospitable areas like the Arctic.
    Seriously?.....Wow......LOL
    The end is near.....The end is near........

    Siberia is the new frontier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter63 View Post
    Seriously?.....Wow......LOL
    The end is near.....The end is near........

    Siberia is the new frontier.
    Nope people there too. Thought I doubt they will be tossing up many ranches there.

    The Wild is never safe, Mother nature is not the codling type of mother.
    Also I never said the end is near, simply that its nigh impossible to find "Wild" places without going far off the beaten path. I go hiking in state parks and never leave cell reception. Also much of the south American land is being converted into farmland and ranches. It only took 80 years for Americans to turn "The Frontier" into farms and towns with very little resemblance to the former wild that it was. We can very well live with out any truly wild places, but we will be poorer for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidlastink View Post
    The wilderness is safe for no living thing. The trick is to make humans safer in the wilderness. All the wild places are slowly being replaced by cattle ranches and farms. soon the only truly wild places will be inhospitable areas like the Arctic.
    Don't come up here!
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    Perhaps I should clarify. The way you make humans safer in the wilderness is via educating them and having them practice skills needed for those environments. I am not advocating safe proofing the wild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidlastink View Post
    Perhaps I should clarify. The way you make humans safer in the wilderness is via educating them and having them practice skills needed for those environments. I am not advocating safe proofing the wild.
    Huh?.........So how does help the Dumas?......
    There are some people that should just stay home.....
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