Nature's Restaurant:

Fields, Forests & Wetlands Foods of Eastern North America

A Complete Wild Food Guide

Contents Page »




Search Nature's Restaurant & Wild Foods Home Garden Websites:


Contents On This Page:


Viburnum_lentago_NRCS-005

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) ripe fruit and fall colors. (Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck. Courtesy of ND State Soil Conservation Committee. Provided by USDA NRCS ND State Office. United States, ND


Urban, Rural or Both: Both, Rural mainly


Viburnum. This is a very interesting group of shrubs and small trees. The fruit can range from absolutely awful to very good with Viburnums depending on which one. They can be hard to distinguish one from another. Sometimes, it is impossible to know (in my opinion) until you try the fruit. Even taxonomists can't agree in some cases if there are two distinct species or there are just variations of one. I have tried to give descriptions and indications to make the process as easy as possible.

There are some characteristics that all Viburnums share. The leaves are opposite on the twigs, and the twigs are opposite on the branches. The flowers come in clusters, and are usually white, off-white to pinkish. The fruit comes in clusters. The fruit are a drupe and have a pit with a single seed. Often that pit is oval shaped and flattened. Very often there is a scent to the flowers - sometimes nice, sometimes not. Although they cover a wide range of environments, most listed here are partial to damp to outright wet conditions - conditions that Poison Ivy and Poison Sumac frequent, so beware when you are approaching one. There is one other common characteristic that most of them share - they are generally a very beautiful shrub or tree any time of the year with the flowers in the spring, colorful fruit and rich fall colors. Even in winter the branching they take is more often than not very interesting and nice looking.

Most sources that provide recipes for any Viburnum fruit for making jams or jellies, or the paste for adding to meals talk about cooking the fruit, then separating the seeds and skin by putting the cooked fruit through a food mill or pushing through a sieve. You might find the odd source saying to remove the seeds first, before cooking. I don't know if it really matters, but since the seeds are bitter, I personally remove the seeds first. Yes, it is a bit more work, but not a lot. There are three ways I've tried, choose one you like: One way is to put all you have collected in the freezer and leave for a day, then take them out and let them thaw. They go mushy after that, and just run them though a food mill, take the seeds that are left over, put them in a container with some water, rub them around with clean hands, and put that through a sieve. After that, cook. Another way is, put the fresh fruit in a pot, mash with a potato masher, then put it through a food mill, put the seeds in a container with water, rub around and sieve. There is a third way. Boil them in just enough water to cover them for 5 minutes, run though a food mill, put the seeds left over in a container with some water, rub around, sieve, put it all together, and cook for remaining 15 minutes or so, or until it has boiled down to the thickness you want. It will thicken more when fully cooled. Two more notes: if they are the type of Viburnum fruit that is best collected when shrivelled up a bit, soak in water to rehydrate before any of the above procedures & make sure all bits of stem are removed.


Growing Viburnums in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.

These are some of the best shrubs/trees for gardens if you have the right conditions, and there is a Viburnum for just about anywhere but a desert and the middle of the ocean. They tend to keep a nice shape without a lot of pruning, they grow well, produce food and have showy flowers and beautiful fall leaves. If you start by seed, they usually take two years for the seed to germinate after planting. Most of them take very well from cuttings made in the spring or summer stuck in the ground, just keep them wet until the root system takes. That is usually when they start to sprout new growth. Many varieties are available at nurseries, but be careful - it sadly is the case they are often mislabelled - a side effect of them being hard to tell one from the other, and since most people don't eat the fruit, it doesn't matter to them. Very often the horrid tasting Viburnum opulus is sold as the nice tasting, identical looking Viburnum trilobum, and this is made worse by the fact those two can hybridize. When you plant Viburnums, plant more than one to help with pollination to give a good crop - if you plant just one, you may get very little fruit. If you take cuttings from one tree, remember that the trees the cuttings turn into are genetically identical clones of the tree you took the cuttings from, so they won't cross pollinate - they are the same tree in two or more places. Therefore, try to get cuttings from different trees spread apart a good distance. If they are really close, they could be clonal colony trees that spread by root, so again, they would be clones.




Highbush Cranberry

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum), sometimes the name is listed as "Viburnum opulus var. americanum". Also known as Kalyna and American Cranberrybush, Cranberry Tree, Crampbark Tree, Guelder-Rose, Wild Gueldes-Rose, Gueldres-Rose, Cherry-Wood, Rose Elder, Red Elder, Marsh Elder, Water Elder, White Elder, Gadrise, Gaiter Tree, Gatten, Love Rose, May Rose, Pincushion Tree, Dog Rowan Tree, Whitten Tree, Squaw Bush, Witch-Hobble, Witchhopple.

Although not related to other Cranberry species - it is a Cranberry in name only - the Highbush Cranberry is good in its own right, and can be used and eaten the same way as true Cranberries. It is a shrub that in no way resembles the other Cranberries which are in the Vaccinium genus. The Highbush Cranberry can grow over 3 meters (10 feet) tall (although usually found shorter), has leaves that are similar in appearance to Maple leaves (but with three lobes) and has clusters of white, five petalled flowers. Look for it in damp, shady areas that do not dry out, but have a good loamy soil. Unusual for a Viburnum, it does not like acid soils, so if you live where there are alkaline soils and limestone outcroppings, this bush should be around along creeks and low areas near rivers. By the way, there is the native Viburnum trilobum and the common Viburnum opulus that has naturalized in North America. Hard to tell apart from looking at them.

The native Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) is the good one - very tart tasting, like a Cranberry. The naturalized European Viburnum opulus is the acidic one. To me, the trees look identical. At one time I thought the leaves were a bit darker green, and the berries a deeper red on the Viburnum trilobum, but I'm not so sure now. I have to taste the berry to know. Make sure you test a couple before you go through the effort of picking a pile to cook. Also, make sure you get it right, as the European Viburnum opulus can cause stomach upset. If you are not sure: don't eat them - raw or cooked. I apologize in advance for this description, but, the difference in taste to me is this way: the tart of the Viburnum trilobum is like a Sour Cherry, or Crabapple, or true Cranberry, or biting into a vitamin C pill. The bitter/acrid taste of the Viburnum opulus is like the taste when you burp, but throw up a little stomach acid in your mouth. I was shocked to read that in Europe sometimes the Viburnum opulus is made into jams, even though more than a little of it can make some people feel ill - yikes.

This one can easily be mistaken for the Viburnum edule. So, how do you tell the difference? The most reliable way is by where you find it. If you are in a northern boreal forest, and find one in a damp area, it is most likely the Squashberry - the Viburnum edule. If you are where the dominant forests around are not boreal, and the soil is more likely alkaline and the ground where it is growing is not wet/damp (but could be near water), then most likely it is the Viburnum trilobum. It does not matter which one you have for eating and cooking, as long as it isn't the Viburnum opulus.

Although the leaves do look a little like Maple leaves, I have noticed that the leaves can be quite different from one shrub to the next, even on the same shrub. They are opposite on the stem (leaves appear in pairs on each side of stem). They have three main lobes, however, on some the lobes are elongated, some quite stubby. On the ones with the three elongated lobes, they don't really look that much like a Maple leaf, while the fatter ones with the obvious sawtooth do. Some just seem oval with a large sawtooth pattern on the edge. At the end of branches, there are two leaves - not one.

Smaller branches come off larger ones in opposite pairs like the leaves. The branches are long and thin with little taper, and bend over in an arch with the weight of the leaves. There are lots of branches creating a very thick mass of branches and leaves.

The red berry (technically a drupe) is round/oblong with one flat seed. The berries are on clusters, and if you look closely, you will see that the stems also divide in opposite pairs. Fruit is green when unripe. The fruit can be eaten raw, but it is best cooked into jams, jellies, etc. - it doesn't smell very good raw. When cooking, add some orange or lemon peel, and this will help get rid of the unusual smell of the berry. Pick in fall (September to October) after it turns red, but still a bit hard for jams and jellies. It has a fairly high natural pectin content, so take that into account when preparing. After a frost or freezing, it goes mushy.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


V trilobum in London

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) I found on the edge of a woods in the city.


Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) range. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. .


viopa2_001_lhp

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) seeds. (Steve Hurst, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)


V trilobum leaf

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) leaf. Compare to the Viburnum opulus leaves in the pictures below.


vitr8_003_lhp

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) flowers and leaves. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck)


V trilobum leaf attachment and buds

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) leaf stem attachement and next year's buds forming. Picture taken in late September.


Viburnum opulus leaves

This is the not edible Viburnum opulus - compare to the edible Viburnum trilobum above. Leaves are opposite on the Viburnum trilobum and Viburnum opulus. At the end of branches there are two leaves.


Viburnum opulus berry close

Though these are not edible Viburnum opulus berries, the Viburnum trilobum look identical. Taken in early November.





Nannyberry

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago). Known also as the Sheepberry and Sweet Viburnum. This is a bush to a small tree found in damp areas on the edges of woods, or in woods that are not too dark. Because it likes damp areas, such as the edge of wetlands, along creeks and beside rivers, you have to be careful of Poison Ivy, Western Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix). They tend to grow in the same type of areas.

Although often seen as bush sized with many little trunks coming from the same spot, it can be a single tree with a truck up to 25 cm (10 inches) diameter. This is one of those plants that can form what are known as clonal colonies, that is, a single tree will send up shoots from the roots and there will be many trees genetically identical in a single area. Often, this forms what looks like a dome of trees. Twigs are opposite on branches, and leaves opposite on twigs. In the fall, when looking for the berries, one distinguishing feature of this tree is that next years flower buds, which are on the ends of the branches, look like a bird's head with a long beak. The twigs produce an odd, not pleasant smell when crushed.

There is a single seed in each berry that takes up most of the berry. It is watermelon seed shaped - flat and oval to almost round. The seed can be tan-brown to black. The berries hang in clusters on the ends of branches. The berry is ready to eat in the fall when the leaves start to turn color - usually red, but sometimes with a purple hue. The berry has a thick raisin like texture that tastes a little like raisins as well. It is at the perfect ripeness when slightly shrivelled - again, similar to a raisin. It is a very sweet, tasty berry, though there isn't much to eat in each one due to the seed size. One feature is the stems of the berries are bright red.

The berry can be eaten fresh off the tree, or cooked to make a paste like jam that is good on toast and crackers. To make the paste, gather a lot of berries, simmer for a about 45 minutes with water. Then you need to separate the jam from the seeds. A food mill is perfect, but you can work the jam through a sieve leaving the seeds behind. If you do it this way, use more water to cook with, so the mix you push through the sieve is thinner, then when the seeds are separated, you can simmer it down thicker again. It will thicken more when cooled, so take that into account. Keep in fridge.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) range. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr. .


vile_001_lvd

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) drawing. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 273.)


vile_004_lhp

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) leaves. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck.)


vile_003_lhp

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) fall colors. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck.)


vile_002_lhp

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) in flower. (Douglas Ladd, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA SCS. 1989. Midwest wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. Midwest National Technical Center, Lincoln.)


800px-2249-Viburnum_lentago-DZ-8.12

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) unripe fruit. (By: Vojtěch Zavadil CC BY-SA 3.0)


768px-1520-Viburnum_lentago-DZ-8.12.JPG

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) Trunk and bark. (By: Vojtěch Zavadil CC BY-SA 3.0)


Viburnum_lentago_NRCS-005

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) ripe fruit and fall colors. (Herman, D.E., et al. 1996. North Dakota tree handbook. USDA NRCS ND State Soil Conservation Committee; NDSU Extension and Western Area Power Administration, Bismarck. Courtesy of ND State Soil Conservation Committee. Provided by USDA NRCS ND State Office. United States, ND


Viburnum_lentago_SCA-8321

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) ripe fruit up close. (By: R. A. Nonenmacher Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license)




Hobblebush

Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides or Viburnum alnifolium). Also known as the Alder-leaved Viburnum, Moosewood and Witch-hobble. The plant has a habit of the branches leaning over and the tips of the branches touching the ground and taking root. This makes a hoop of branch attached at both ends to the ground making it easy to trip over - hence the name, Hobblebush. This bush is more common in acidic soils, so expect to find it in the same general areas as Blueberries and other acidic soil loving plants. This is a plant that can tolerate a good amount of shade. When fully ripe the fruit is blue to purple-black, but before it is fully ripe it is first green, then pink, then red. Early fall is best time to find them. If you find the fruit, but it is shrivelled up, that is OK, just gather and soak in water to rehydrate, or just use them for cooking in water before removing the seeds. There can be a lot of the fruit on the bushes - if you find it before other critters.

Urban, Rural or Both: Rural mainly

The fruit is raisin or date like, and can be eaten raw, but there is little flesh as the seed takes up most of the space in the fruit. If you gather enough, cook them with water, strain out the seeds, and use the remaining pulp or liquid. You can make jams and jellies, but you can also use this in baked goods for a raisin/date like taste, and even drinks. The pulp/juice goes well with many foods, just use some as flavoring in stir fry's or baked dishes. Seems to work well with curried dishes. Adds a different angle to the flavor without overpowering other flavors. You can store extra by putting the pulp in baggies and freezing and use when needed.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides or Viburnum alnifolium) range. Distribution map courtesy of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Natural Resources Service) and used in accordance with their policies.


vial3_001_lvd

Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides or Viburnum alnifolium) drawing. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 269.)


Viburnum_lantanoides_nb

Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides or Viburnum alnifolium) in woods. (By: Richtid GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)


1280px-ON_-_Algonquin_Provincial_Park.jpg

Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides or Viburnum alnifolium) leaf and flowers. (By: Wladyslaw GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)




Squashberry

Squashberry (Viburnum edule). Also known as the Highbush Cranberry, Lowbush Cranberry, Mooseberry, Pembina, Pimbina. The Viburnum trilobum is usually the species referred to as the Highbush Cranberry, but this shows why it is a good idea to use the Latin names for double checking, even if you don't know how to pronounce them. Neither is related to the true Cranberries which are in the Vaccinium genus, not the Viburnum.

Urban, Rural or Both: Rural mainly

This one can easily be mistaken for the Viburnum trilobum. So, how do you tell the difference? The most reliable way is by where you find it. If you are in a northern boreal forest, and find one in a damp area, it is most likely the Squashberry - the Viburnum edule. If you are where the dominant forests around are not boreal, and the soil is more likely alkaline and the ground where it is growing is not wet/damp (but could be near water), then most likely it is the Viburnum trilobum. Just don't mistake for the naturalized Viburnum opulus, which can look very similar (identical, if you ask me). See the section on the Viburnum trilobum here to how to know when you have a Viburnum opulus. As long as you don't have the Viburnum opulus, treat them the same in how you cook and eat, though this one is actually better tasting - especially fresh.

The red to orange fruit from this Viburnum is a refreshing tart/sweet. Because of a shallow dimple where the stems attach to the fruit, they look like sour Cherries to me, but with a more translucent quality. Very good for jams and jellies, and a refreshing snack while walking. Since the flat pit is large, best to scrape the flesh off the pit with your front teeth. It is the tart quality, that when cooked, makes the jams and jellies made from it, have a bright, clear taste. Very good spread on toast. Should be a commercially grown crop for jams and jellies, but as far as I know, is not. You can cook it like Cranberries and use the same way as well, and that is where the two common names with Cranberry in them come from. Don't be distressed when cooking them, there is a smell in the air that is not pleasant - this is normal, and will not be there in the finished product. It is a dirty clothes to musky smell.

Since the pit has to be removed before cooking (to prevent any bitterness), the easiest way is to freeze what you have picked, then crush and sieve, then cook. You can just squash them fresh and mix with water and sieve, and cook down the water.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


Squashberry (Viburnum edule) range. Distribution map courtesy of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Natural Resources Service) and used in accordance with their policies.


vipa11_001_lvd

Squashberry (Viburnum edule) drawing. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 270.)


930px-Viburnum_edule_flowers

Squashberry (Viburnum edule) leaf and flowers. (By: Dave Powell, USDA Forest Service CC BY-SA 3.0)




Possumhaw

Possumhaw (Viburnum nudum or Viburnum nudum var. nudum). Known also as the Naked Viburnum, Smooth Witherod, Wild Raisin. Some sources classify the Viburnum cassinoides as the same as the Viburnum nudum. In fact, some sources say that the names Viburnum nudum and Viburnum cassinoides are synonyms. The Viburnum cassinoides is often named the Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides and both can be called the Wild Raisin (Though the Viburnum cassinoides is also called the Northern Wild Raisin). Comparing the USDA range maps, shows they have two separate ranges, and some taxonomists do say they are the same - but variations of the same plant displaying different characteristics in different climate zones. So, here we have two very similar species that might be variations of one, but do have some distinguishing characteristics. The description below is specific to the one you will find in the very Southeast and up along the Eastern shore of the USA - the one in the USGS map below the USDA map.

A serious caution: This shrub has opposite, glossy, sometimes wavy edged leaves that are often Elliptic in shape. If you are not absolutely clear on the difference between compound and simple leaves, you could very easily mistake this bush for the Poison Sumac. The Poison Sumac has leaflets (NOT leaves) that are similar in size to the leaves of the Possumhaw. The Poison Sumac leaflets are opposite on the leaf, glossy, sometimes wavy edged and are often Elliptic. Read here if you are not 100% sure of the difference between simple and compound leaves. The Poison Sumac and this Viburnum can be right in the same places, and confusing them could be a very serious mistake. The leaves are alternate on the Poison Sumac, so if you are very clear on the difference, you will not mistake them.

Most people say this one tastes like raisins to a bit like prunes, but there are reports of it being bitter, or raisin like with a bitter after taste, to being highly acidic to the point of being barely edible, or even reports of it being sweet. I'm not sure if that is variation in the species, picking them at different stages, the climate/soil they are in or what, but I have a guess. It seems most of the reports of it being sweet and good come from Canada or the Northeastern USA, while the reports of it being either good or not good come more from the Southeastern USA. So, I think the Northern Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides) is the good tasting one - which can also be found in a lot of the Southeast as well, and the Viburnum nudum is the poor tasting one. I have no way of proving this, it is just a theory on my part, however if that can be proved to be the case, it does give strength to the idea they should be regarded as two separate species. Considering all the above, I would avoid eating the fruit from this one, and stick to the Northern Wild Raisin, but if you identify it as this one, and like the taste, you will have to make your own decisions.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


Possumhaw (Viburnum nudum) range. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr..






Northern Wild Raisin

Northern Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides). Also known as the Swamphaw, Wild raisin, Witherod Viburnum, Withe-rod. I have a name suggestion: the Stink Tree. There are times when you walk past one of these, and there is a bad smell coming from it. If you live in the Southeast or Eastern Shore of the USA, make sure you read the entry on the Possumhaw (Viburnum nudum) as there is confusion with these two.

Urban, Rural or Both: Rural mainly

A serious caution: This shrub has opposite, glossy, sometimes wavy edged leaves that are often Elliptic in shape. If you are not absolutely clear on the difference between compound and simple leaves, you could very easily mistake this bush for the Poison Sumac. The Poison Sumac has leaflets (NOT leaves) that are similar in size to the leaves of the Northern Wild Raisin. The Poison Sumac leaflets are opposite on the leaf, glossy, sometimes wavy edged and are often Elliptic. Read here if you are not 100% sure of the difference between simple and compound leaves. The Poison Sumac and this Viburnum can be right in the same places, and confusing them could be a very serious mistake. The leaves are alternate on the Poison Sumac, so if you are very clear on the difference, you will not mistake them.

Despite the smell of the tree and flowers, the fruit is very good - sweet and raisin to prune like - it's a shame there is so little flesh on each one, but it does have quality if not quantity. This one is very similar to the Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago), and you can refer to that entry here for instructions on how to use the fruit.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) range. Distribution map courtesy of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Natural Resources Service) and used in accordance with their policies.


vica_001_lhd

Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) drawing. (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 272.)


vica_002_lhp

Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) seeds. (Carole Ritchie, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)


Viburnum_nudum_var_cassinoides_5504845

Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) leaves and flower buds. Please note how similar these leaves look compared to Poison Sumac leaflets. Also be aware the margins of the leaves can be smooth (entire) to sawtooth to wavy. (By: Brett Marshall CC BY-SA 3.0)


1024px-Wild_raisin_Viburnum_cassinoides_flowers_close

Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) flowers. (By: Dcrjsr )


Viburnum_nudum_var._cassinoides_5474919

Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) twig end. Note how there is a pair of opposite leaves at the end - not a single leaf like the Poison Sumac. (By: Rob Routledge CC BY-SA 3.0)


Viburnum_nudum_var._cassinoides_5475381

Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides or Viburnum nudum var. cassinoides) not quite mature (white/pink) and mature (blue) fruit. Again, be careful - the Poison Sumac can have whitish/green fruit clusters. (By: Rob Routledge CC BY-SA 3.0)




Blackhaw

Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium). Also called the Black Haw, Blackhaw Viburnum, Sweet Haw, and Stag Bush. I don't have these where I live, but have included a description of them for those that live where they grow.

A serious caution: This shrub has opposite, glossy, leaves that are similar in shape to Poison Sumac leaflets. If you are not absolutely clear on the difference between compound and simple leaves, you could very easily mistake this bush for the Poison Sumac. Read here if you are not 100% sure of the difference between simple and compound leaves. The Poison Sumac and this Viburnum can occur in the same places, and confusing them could be a very serious mistake. The leaves are alternate on the Poison Sumac, and do not have serrations on the leaflet edges like the Blackhaw leaves do, so if you are very clear on the difference, you will not mistake them.

Second Caution: The fruit contains Salicin, which is a natural form of Aspirin, so if you are allergic to Aspirin (ASA), don't eat these. Because of this, this plant more of a medicinal than food, and recommend you only eat small amounts. Also, if you take Aspirin each day in specific amounts by recommendation of a doctor, I would not eat these. Also, because of Reye's syndrome, children under 12 and teenagers should probably not eat these.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) range. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr..




Rusty Blackhaw

Rusty Blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum). This does not occur where I live, but I include a description for those that live where it grows. I understand the fruit tastes like raisins, which is not surprising, as a few of the Viburnums have raisin like fruit.


Growing this plant in your home garden:

For detailed instructions on how to grow Viburnums, go to my Wild Foods Home Garden website Viburnums page.


Description:


Rusty Blackhaw (Viburnum rufidulum) range. Distribution map courtesy of the USGS Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, originally from "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr..





Search Nature's Restaurant & Wild Foods Home Garden Websites:



Important Notes when Identifying
Rules & Cautions
Dangerous Plants to Avoid Touching
Disclaimer


Why does this site have ads?

Originally the content in this site was a book that was sold through Amazon worldwide. However, I wanted the information to available to everyone free of charge, so I made this website. The ads on the site help cover the cost of maintaining the site and keeping it available.



Website Information:

This website was designed and written by me in HTML using the Bluefish 2.2.7 editor on Mint 18 Cinnamon Linux. I used the Bootstrap frontend framework, style sheets & Javascript.

This site is hosted by HostUpon. I am very thankful to them for all the patient technical support I received when I first set up my websites and had no idea what I was doing. I am happy to recommend them.

The site is designed to work with all browsers and is specifically designed to be highly functional on smartphones. I kept the site simple, with a clean page design to make using on a smartphone easy, quick & efficient. The Bootstrap framework is responsive, and automatically scales to any screen size.

If you encounter any problem using this site on any device, I would appreciate knowing. Let me know by using the contact page. Tell me what the problem is, and what device you are using it on.