How to Identify Wild Berries of Arkansas

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Identify plants with a guide to ensure they are safe before eating them.
Identify plants with a guide to ensure they are safe before eating them. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Berry foraging is one fun summer activity that every family should try. In Arkansas, there are many edible wild berries that are good for nourishment and medicine. The trick is knowing which berries are safe to eat and which ones are not. As with any foraging, it is always best to have a pocket plant guide handy so that you can verify whether the particular berry you are looking at is edible or not.

Look for juniper trees if you have an upset stomach. Juniper berries can be eaten fresh or added to boiling water to make a tea. The tea can even be applied to skin to soothe bug bites. Juniper trees look like pine trees and have blue colored berries.

Sumac plants have delicious red berries that possess a lemony taste. The plants have deep green elongated leaves. The shrubs grow to roughly 4-feet tall in Arkansas’s summer weather.

Pick some berries from greebrier shrubs (Smilax bona-nox) if you see any. The shrub has triangular leaves, edible black berries and large thorns.

Look for elderberry bushes with their bright white flowers and shiny green foliage. The blue berries are completely edible and very high in vitamin C.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not eat any wild berries unless you are sure that they are safe, as there are many poisonous berries found in Arkansas.

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