Do you know which of these wild berries you can eat?

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Posted Nov 13 2015 by Nigel Berman of School of the Wild

At Our Edible Landscape, the most recent School of the Wild event, facilitator Milly set us the Wild Berry Challenge, so we’re putting the challenge to you. Identify the berries below, and decide if you’d eat them. There are no prizes but next time you’re out for a walk, you might be able to identify a few more wild foods, and a few more not to eat!

(All the berries below had been foraged from an area around the site that morning, scroll down for the answers… if you need them!)

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Answers:

1. Rowan
Delicious when cooked. Rowan has healing effects on the digestion, the liver and the lung.

2. Elderberry
Used to make a healing syrup – great for colds. Don’t eat them raw, and try not to eat the stalks.

3. Guelder Rose
A good source of vitamin C, they need to be cooked. Have a very sour taste. (Can be confused with other poisonous red berries so be 100% sure before eating.)

4. Wild Service
​Delicious and sweet, best eaten when squishy.

5. Privet*
Poisonous.

6. Ivy*
Poisonous.

7. Spindleberry*
Poisonous.

8. Yew**
The flesh of the yew berry and the syrup in it is very sweet and delicious, but the seeds are very poisonous – don’t eat them!

9. Rosehip
Tangy and sweet, with more vitamin C than oranges. Can be eaten raw but best not to eat the seeds as they’re furry and may irritate your stomach.

​10. Hawthorn
Haws can be eaten and taste a bit like apples. They can also be used in conserves, and wine. The leaf parts and flowers make tea and tinctures which are good for the heart.

11. Sloe (Blackthorn)
Tart and astringent, they make a good conserve and are used to flavour gin.

12. Blackberry
Low in calories, virtually fat free, high in fiber and rich in nutrients and antioxidants. They taste great raw or cooked!

NEVER take any chances with berries. If you are not 100% sure what a berry is, don’t put it in your mouth.

* poisonous

** seeds are poisonous