Those two plants are markedly different from Elderberry in fairly obvious ways–I won’t go into them in detail now, but suffice it to say, when identifying a plant, don’t hinge your identification on only one feature (e.g. In some species they appear in cone-like clusters but in others, as in the silky dogwood pictured, in flat umbels. If you can’t figure it out with reasonable confidence, then don’t eat it for now–you’ll probably get another opportunity in the future! amzn_assoc_default_category = "All"; The most conspicuous distinguishing features between these Dogwoods and the Elderberry, however, are in the leaves and the fruits. Black Elderberry (sambucus nigra) shrubs are pretty distinctive, but if you are not paying close attention to what you are seeing, mistaking other plants for them is not impossible. Flowers are fragrant. Many species have edible fruit, though not all actually taste good. Progressing each year. They have pits, along with a non all that sweet taste. This page gave me a 99% confidence level. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Do remember–if you are not sure what a plant is, first work hard to figure it out (because maybe you’ll learn something new). amzn_assoc_region = "US"; Pingback: How to Grow a Jelly Garden | Tenth Acre Farm. One thing a very experienced backyard birder taught me is that there are "Broccoli" berries and "Candy" berries. Last fall I spotted Elderberry and I’ve been following the plant all year. I acquired this based on the description in the Oikos catalog. Required fields are marked *. Also known as Japanese dogwood, Chinese dogwood, and Korean dogwood, Kousa Dogwood is native to multiple regions in Asia and has become a highly popular ornamental tree in the United States. Pingback: What is Elderflower? Although the taste doesn't rival that of its lookalike, the berries are edible. Make sure to use rooting hormone, it helps cuttings grow roots to continue to grow. Silky dogwood has simple, opposite leaves that turn a brownish-red color in the fall. Trees with Berries That Stain the Pavement. We’ve been away from the blog for a bit. Silky Dogwood Berries. The fruit ripens gradually, over a period of weeks, so this will be a graduated harvest. The taste is very good and unique for a temperate climate fruit. Oh I so enjoyed the read. Thanks :)). amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; In the home landscape, silky dogwood bushes work well in moist, naturalized areas and do a good job at stabilizing the soil in erosion-prone sites. I just transplanted three baby trees of this species from my neighbor's sidewalk to a planter to grow inside this year. My greatest challenge is that I’m just now seeing what may or may not be elderberries (just a handful) and there are no leaves for comparison. Mature height generally ranges from 6 to 12 feet. amzn_assoc_default_search_phrase = "elderberries"; The fruits are about the size of a strawberry but round. At least where we live, elderberries ripen to a rich deep purple well before the silky or redosier fruits ripen. Hello there, Silky Dogwood has pretty big showy white clustered flowers in early summer (June and sometimes early July). If you have any inquiries please contact us at theyrenotourgoats at gmail dot com. He describes the fruits as "oval, cherry-like, and fire-engine red with a single stone inside," and likens their taste to that of sour cherries. The bark and the fruits. Your post was perfect – I now know that I have a Redosier Dogwood. Silky dogwood often has about half its canopy of flowers, so still not like the flowering dogwood. Almost all transplants work well. Aside from the risk-factor of mistaking those plants for Elderberry (which has its own share of toxicity-risks), there is almost no reason to fear mistaking Water Hemlock or Pokeberry for Elderberry. You can also check with the local state extension office in your area! At certain stages of development, a couple plants in particular appear the closest of all to Elderberry: the Silky Dogwood (cornus amomum) and the Redosier (Red Osier) Dogwood (cornus sericea). Wold you please look at a few photos to help me identify this tree because I want to be fairly positive is an elder tree before I consider removing it. Thank you! Forest grown trees are less likely to grow like this, and grow more like a regular dogwood. Hi Rahel! Our common red-osier dogwood or kinnikinnick, best known for its bright red stems, bears whitish or bluish berries that Thoreau described as "part of the pendant jewelry of the season." Silky dogwood has simple, opposite leaves that turn a brownish-red color in the fall. The Craft of Herbal Fermentation: A Course Re... How to Identify & Forage for Stinging Nettle, Strawberry-Honey Preserves (No Pectin or White Sugar), How to Grow a Jelly Garden | Tenth Acre Farm, 17 Elderflower Recipes for a Summertime Treat | Homestead Honey. amzn_assoc_search_bar_position = "bottom"; Morthia from Hypothetical Hurricanes Wiki, The fruits are about the size of a strawberry but round. The only other solution I have is to remove the tree, which there are two of but the one is my favorite part of my yard. I would start by checking other features besides the berries. but I’m new to this and your article help me and my husband a lot. In USDA zones 5 through 8, kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) bears showy, pinkish-red fruits that resemble raspberries. Flowers may or may not feature large bracts like those of the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida). amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "threnoougo-20"; Elderberry leaf margins are toothed. I was given and elderberry and I assumed it grew like a big bush or tree and I was told it did but I didn’t know it had runners. Blue berries, still in cluster, maturing in September. We recently thought we spotted elderberries at a friend’s house- but Tim’s discerning eye second guessed our initial identification. So your article help. They look almost identical to silky dogwood when the fruits ripen? Silky Dogwood and Redosier Dogwood leaves are simple. The primary edible part of the Kousa Dogwood is its red berries which are usually produced in abundance in late summer. That’s another reason I look up to see what is good and which is bad. Study the following images to note the differences between the Elderberry leaf on the left and the Redosier Dogwood leaves on the right: Observe also the following drawings of the Dogwoods and Elderberry courtesy of the USDA Plant Profiles. Read on for additional silky dogwood information. The taste can vary from tree to tree, so it is advisable to try a few before you strip the tree of its berries! Season: Late Summer & Early Fall Urban, Rural or Both: Both Yew Berries (Taxus baccata), Taxus.The red flesh of the ripe berries is safe and sweet tasting, though without any great flavor, but the seed in the center of the red berry is deadly poisonous, and the rest of the tree is deadly poisonous. Where the berries appear it is reddish, which visually seems to be consistent though I haven’t see this mentioned? Could I send you an image somehow? Do you know what USDA hardiness zone you are in? Thanks for asking your question! The berries have a distinctive bumpy skin. I’m so glad it was helpful! May I send a couple pictures. I am not sure if I have elderberry in my backyard, or if it is something else? Now I have a plant growing along the property line that made flowers and all and Grows like a huge bush. Or even if you know a good plant ID FB group to direct me to? Found growing in the wildlife habitat created on the grounds of the local middle school. Branches that dig back into the ground can grow roots, and become a new tree. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Your Silky Dogwood has attractive greenish-white flower clusters that appear in flat-topped, 2.5-inch clusters in the spring. Dogwood Fruit: Top 10 Health Benefits (Kousa Berries) A small tree native to Korea and other parts of Asia, the dogwood is popular as an ornamental tree to most. I belong to a plant ID group already, but they’re pretty persnickety and don’t seem very warm to newbies like myself. Here are 10 tasty wild berries to try — and 8 poisonous ones to avoid. So I’m gonna go see if it’s an elederberry. Look at the Silky Dogwood for example: Clearly there are differences between them, but at least we are dealing with similar types of plants. At this stage they are sweet, plump, and juicy. If dogwood berries were highly toxic or poisonous to humans or pets I would have heard something about it over my 30 years experience in the field. Having said that, let’s return to the Silky Dogwood. It says "Fruit has high amounts of calcium –excellent for good skeletal growth in wildlife and high amounts of fat energy." The two groundcover species have flowers that are rather inconspicuous but appear magnificent framed by the surrounding large, petal-like bracts. In USDA zones 5 through 8, kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) bears showy, pinkish-red fruits that resemble raspberries. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "search"; Trees provide shade, fruits and oxygen, and they add visual interest to the landscape and attract birds and other animals. Certainly, you can send a couple of pictures to theyrenotourgoats at gmail dot com. The thing is, we are experiencing a terrible infestation of box elder bugs that are living in the wood siding of my house and I cannot keep up with removing them and I refuse to poison then as it wouldn’t be safe for my kids,cats or chickens. Send them along to theyrenotourgoats at gmail dot com and we’d be happy to take a look. So mine is still in the pot and I’m trying to figure out what I should do. So, in simplist terms, is the difference in the leaves? Excerpts may be used with credit and a clickable link back to the source. This is very very helpful! On a day like today, in mid-May this exceptionally warm spring of 2012, I can pick a gallon of the berries in about an hour. Having done some research, because I’d really prefer avoiding Water Hemlock, I did learn some helpful ID information, not discluding this post. Pingback: Elderberry Identification and Foraging Tips | HealthyGreenSavvy. Thank you. The leaves of elderberries should still be compound and toothed, while the leaves of dogwood should be simple and smooth edged. Your email address will not be published. I know that elderberry grows in the wild in our area (coastal RI) but I’m a true novice at plant id. I’ll be on the lookout! 18 thoughts on “ Distinguishing Elderberry from Silky and Redosier Dogwood ” Pingback: How to Grow a Jelly Garden | Tenth Acre Farm Danielle November 28, 2016 at 6:44 pm. Dogwood berries can be bright red, white, dark blue, or even a combination of dark blue and white, as with the silky dogwood. Read on to find out how to distinguish these two look-alike plants from each other. The following is a “guest” post from my hubby- the guy who really knows his plants around here. Elderberry leaves are compound. Once I learned about hemlock, Queen Anne’s lace there is no comparison. Kousa Dogwood can be identified by 2 primary factors. Note first the density and size of the cymes in both dogwoods as compared to the elderberry. Here’s a close-up of its lovely flower cyme (that’s the name of that cluster pattern): For comparison, here is the Black Elderberry bloom: Certainly these flower clusters look similar. A dragonfly lands on a kousa dogwood bud. berries, drupes or flowers growing in cyme patterns). Flowers eventually in September become small blue berries, still in clusters. And finally, Black Elderberry (sambucus nigra): Let’s turn to the berries and drupes. But he quickly adds that … At any rate, would it be overly assumptive to ask if I might ? All content is the property of They're Not Our Goats. I received your email and I’m about to reply to it! Notes: A dogwood with gorgeous blue berries. The taste is very good and unique for a temperate climate fruit. Berries: The berries aren’t very tasty, and wildlife tend to leave them alone in the fall. For our purposes, though, that is not very important; we are trying to distinguish the Dogwoods from Elderberry, not so much from each other. They also litter -- a lot. Not all of the 45 species of dogwood trees (Cornus spp.) When in doubt, we recommend watching a plant for an entire season to observe its development. The entire flower/fruit stalk falls off. To complicate the trouble of precisely identifying Redosier Dogwood in contrast to the Silky Dogwood, Redosier is a variable species, which essentially means that its morphology is not always the same–different specimens can look different from each other. Thank you so much! Your email address will not be published. Bark is smooth. They have red bark, and grey older bark, still having red streaks. Berries are technically edible, but don't taste very good. The dogwood leaves are smooth. What about blue elderberry? amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; See the following images. Leaves turn red or purple before dropping in October. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The berries appear in late summer. We were out there with my phone checking that plant to see how the leave look. Pay attention to the overall habit of the plant–the location, the time, duration, and color of the flowers (if any), whether it is woody or herbaceous, the pattern and color of the bark, a general sampling of the leaves–opposite, alternate, whorled–from many parts of the plant, the shape, margins, and vein structure of the leaves, the characteristics of the fruit, etc. But that is not the only similarity they share (I’ll get to the differences in a moment). Herb: Silky Dogwood Latin name: Cornus amomum Synonyms: Cornus coerulea, Swida amomum Family: Cornaceae (Dogwood Family) Medicinal use of Silky Dogwood: The dried root-bark is antiperiodic, astringent, stimulant (mild), tonic. As kousa dogwood gets older the lower bark peels and creates a unique pattern similar to sycamore tree bark. © 2017. I also had planted a cutting from a big bush from my neighbors. . Some trees may also bloom again in September. Also be aware of the color of the fruit (this is one of the best ways to discern whether you’re dealing with a silky or redosier, too). As these berries have a slightly sour taste, their consumption can cause irritation in the gastrointestinal tract. I ate a berry or two once and it was kind of grainy and not very tasty. I always said it tastes like a cross between a mango and pumpkin. The kousa dogwood berries are unique in size and shape. Berries are technically edible, but don't taste very good. Other dogwoods have clusters of small, creamy-white flowers. The silky dogwood, or Cornus amomum, is an ornamental shrub featuring flat white flowers that are unlike the showy blooms of the flowering dogwood.This deciduous plant grows in the United States as far south as Florida and up to Michigan, with specimens also found in Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Ohio. If you are just seeing a handful of berries now, I would guess that they are not elderberries at this point as elderberries have likely long since ripened and disappeared from the plant by now. Elderberries are ripening this time of year where we live, so if you have any interest in harvesting these berries, it is as good a time as ever to nail down your elderberry identification skills. About the size of cherries, the fruit starts out yellow and turns a rosy red color when ripe. Tree With Dogwoodlike Blooms That Produce Berries in Fall. Thus, if you see ripe elderberries side by side with a dogwood, you should see that the dogwood fruits are still green. They have pits, along with a non all that sweet taste. It tolerates wet swampy ground and less wet conditions too. This bush has a big rounded crown, and branches tend to arch back to the ground in open grown trees. I had heard you have to be careful because you might think it’s elderberries and it’s not. I've seen people eat dogwood berries before - never a large quantity - and none have experienced any problems. The fruit is eaten by game birds, and is especially important as a source of food for migrating songbirds. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; I know that elderberry grows in the wild in our area (coastal RI) but I’m a true novice at plant id. Berries are at their best when they ripen to a dark, purple-blue. Pingback: 17 Elderflower Recipes for a Summertime Treat | Homestead Honey. You have already seen this, the candy berries are the ones that taste good as soon as they're ripe, such as serviceberries, twinberries, Red-flowering Currant, Mahonia, Salal, huckleberries, red and blue elderberries and even Mountain Ash, Red-twig Dogwood and Pacific Yew. They both tend to grow in wet locations–though both are very tolerant plants–so you may even find them growing together (as we did recently). After pollination, they produce a type of fruit known as a drupe. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; It’s so pretty ask year round and I can see it from almost every room in my house. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. Red berries are certainly edible, but they are not fully ripe. Elderberry has the ratchet ridges in the leaves and the dogwood has smooth sided leaves? Dogwood berries are in toxicity class III category, meaning, they are slightly toxic for dogs and cats. Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum) is a medium-sized, native in the dogwood family (Cornaceae), and its blue berries are savored by many songbirds. Large bushy dogwood tree. It does become more difficult to ID without leaves on the plant, but a few pictures of the overall plant, the bark, the berries, and the stems would help. Kousa Dogwood berries, botanically classified as Cornus kousa, grow on small, deciduous trees or shrubs belonging to the Cornaceae family. Should I plant in the back or along the woods etc. The primary edible part of the Kousa Dogwood is its red berries which are usually produced in abundance in late summer. Flowers eventually in September become small blue berries, still in clusters. Propagation of this species is the easiest of any of the dogwoods. After a quick search, it seems that the warmest coastal RI zone you could be in is 7b. Both cuttings survived. Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum) is named for the silky gray hairs that cover the undersid… Silk Dogwood is also known as Silky Cornel and Swamp Dogwood. The flowers mature to berry-like drupes that begin white but slowly transform to a lovely blue for the fall. You can identify a dogwood by looking for smooth-edged leaves with veins that curve parallel to the margins (edges). This dogwood is often found in swampy areas. Though there are conflicting reports as to the toxicity of the berries in regards to human consumption, they taste rather rancid and fleshy. 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. No one else I know forages. Certainly! Thank you! Distinguishing Elderberry from Silky and Redosier Dogwood. be able to email you a picture to peek at with your more knowledgeable eyes? Hi Val- sorry for the delay! I always said it tastes like a cross between a mango and pumpkin. I thought it would be interesting to have a fruit with fat in the pulp, like an avocado. No other sites, I’ve read have referenced dog woods. Delcore's Wiki is a FANDOM Lifestyle Community. Birds lack a strong sense of taste, so they don’t seem to mind the dogwood berries. Many berries are commonly available in grocery stores, but other, equally delicious ones are abundant in the wild. Although the taste doesn't rival that of its lookalike, the berries are edible. Photos may not be used without permission. More than 45 types of songbirds and game birds have been documented consuming the fatty berries in the fall. Absolutely a fantastic read. Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. To herbalists, however, it is distinguished for its bright and edible dogwood fruit, commonly referred to as Kousa berries, cornus fruit and asiatic cornelian cherry. However, there is a slight possibility that there could be a few desiccated berries clinging on at this point. It is worth noting though that the subgenus of this plant species (Swida amomum) has been noted to be mildly toxic and cause stomach If you observe carefully and thoroughly, and especially if you begin to learn the vocabulary of kingdom Plantae and attach deeper meaning to your sensory experience of these objects, you will gradually become more accurate in plant identification. amzn_assoc_title = "Shop Related Products"; The berries fall off in fall when leaves do. It takes probably up to 50 flowers to make up the compound flower we see. A great 4-season plant for naturalizing, in mass, and in shrub borders, especially in moist sites. What is Elderflower? Individual flowers are very tiny. Elderberry Identification and Foraging Tips | HealthyGreenSavvy. I have started my first nature journal and was unsure as to what type of plant and berries I had so I could label it correctly. Trees are native, but can still sometimes grow in weedy, but are not invasive. I started foraging 3 years ago. Silky dogwood often has about half its canopy of flowers, so still not like the flowering dogwood. Click to see full answer. Silky dogwood is a large to medium-sized native shrub with creamy white spring flowers, dark green foliage, and reddish stems and burgundy fall color. You explained it so well and with the pictures to go with it help so much. The flowers are said to have similar properties. The stem of Silky Dogwood has these markings on it, which are absent from Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera) bark. The fruit from the Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum) is not considered toxic to any species (dogs, people, livestock, birds, etc). Silky dogwood (Cornus amomum) is a medium-sized, native in the dogwood family (Cornaceae), and its blue berries are savored by many songbirds.More than 45 types of songbirds and game birds have been documented consuming the fatty berries in the fall. Also known a swamp dogwood, silky dogwood is a mid-size shrub that grows wild along streams, ponds and other wetlands across much of the eastern half of the United States. Benefits of Elderflower & 25 Recipes! Also, you can compare the size of the berries and the shape of the cymes. Thank you SO much! The best way for me to tell would be if you sent along a few pictures to If you take the time to google “elderberry look-alikes,” your search results will likely include references to Water Hemlock and Pokeberry–the former deathly poisonous and the latter arguably poisonous if used improperly. Benefits of Elderflower & 25 Recipes! And finally, just for contrast, Black Elderberry: So, to recap, pay close attention to these distinguishing features: I hope at least some of this information is helpful. The dogwoods’ cymes are smaller and less dense than the elderberry’s  (obviously the presence of berries or drupes will depend on fertilization), but the dogwoods’ drupes are larger than elderberries. I’ve followed the stem down and it does appear to be bark-like with no nubs. Observe the following photo; Redosier in the foreground, Elderberry in the background (just a few of the elderberries are starting to turn purple): Finally, a note about the color of the dogwood fruit: Redosier fruit turns whitish when ripe while Silky Dogwood’s is blueish. Thanks! Your pet is likely to vomit or suffer from diarrhea due to this GI irritation.
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