Mystery Tree with Purple Berries

Hello everyone,
First time here and also first year of really getting interested in growing things, mostly edible things
In my garden I have a tree which I just noticed has a profusion of little purple berries, it has spiky leaves a bit like holly. I'm trying to find out if they are edible. The strange thing is the berries all have a little 'spike' on the opposite end to the stem. It's not a spike but a long thin bit of berry
Does anyone know what it could be?
Martin
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BorderCollie


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On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 18:33:42 +0000, BorderCollie

A picture would help.
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On 6/27/2012 2:33 PM, BorderCollie wrote:

Purple berries are pretty common but on a spiky plant Mahonia comes to mind:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahonia
Mahonia japonica (or some similar hybrid) is grown around here as an ornamental but thanks to birds the seeds get scattered widely and finding them growing randomly in woods and along roads is pretty common. Wikipedia says that the berries are edible "though with a very sharp flavor" but I've not known anybody not a bird to eat them.
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BorderCollie;962982 Wrote: > First time here and also first year of really getting interested in > growing things, mostly edible things Does anyone know what it could be?
It's some kind of Berberis. Berberis are all edible, though Berberis buxifolia (known locally as calafate in Arg/Chile) is probably the best eating.
You'll probably find that the birds eat it all before the acidity falls to levels suitable for human eating, though maybe you can pick it sooner and use it for cooking. Also most kinds are rather seedy, so may need straining. I have a large bush of Berberis darwinii and never managed to get anything worthwhile before the birds get to it. I recently planted a B buxifolia but its still small.
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echinosum


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Yes it looks like it's a Berberis. Thanks !
I just ate a berry (what the hell) and it was sweet with a bitter aftertaste.
It figures. The old lady who used to live here planted a pear tree next to it and she probably made jam from it
I will harvest and freeze some for making jam later. Wonder if I'll need pectin? Who cares. I think it will turn out alright
No trouble with birds, most of them are ripe and still there. I'll just take a pound and leave the rest for them, if they promise to get serious with the slug population, then we have ourselves a deal
In return for helping me here's a tip if you have a plum tree and it drops unripe fruit in the wind. Collect them and make green plum sauce (search for Georgian recipe online 'Tkemali'). It makes a seriously powerful spicy bitter condiment that will blow you away and rip your tastebuds. I know. I tested in on a friend and he started shivering and covered in goosebumps from one spoonful. Don't waste any green plums you've got a serious sauce on your hands
Martin
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BorderCollie


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BorderCollie;962982 Wrote: > Hello everyone,

> growing things, mostly edible things

> little purple berries, it has spiky leaves a bit like holly. I'm trying > to find out if they are edible. The strange thing is the berries all > have a little 'spike' on the opposite end to the stem. It's not a spike > but a long thin bit of berry

looks to me like Berberis 'Darwinii'
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lannerman


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