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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Cause for Confusion

Back on the Bushcraft Education blog I have posted from time to time about some of the wild foods which can't easily be mistaken for anything poisonous and at other times about things that can easily be mistaken for a toxic doppelganger. 

The topic of today's post is two berries, superficially similar, that I found growing next to each other but which are in fact very different. 

The scene; a mass off bushes draped in clusters of black berries; 
Here are the delicious elderberries which I use to make cordials and add to other ingredients in crumbles and pies

And here the not so delicious dog wood berries, can you tell the difference? Look for a foolproof clue in the last picture. While not commonly eaten and certainly not valued as a delicacy anywhere the berries are not actually toxic. Some species of dogwood are even cultivated specifically for their berries.  
CornusMas Fruits 01.jpg
Cornelian cherry dogwood is cultivated in Eastern Europe as an ingredient for jams and drinks; Picture by I, B.navezCC BY-SA 3.0
The foolproof tell tale, the latex like substance which will connect the parts of  a broken leaf  is indicative of dogwood.  

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