En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Saturday - May 04, 2013

From: Huntsville, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Edible Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Title: Black chokeberry edible from Huntsville ON
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can the fruit of the black chokeberry be eaten??

ANSWER:

From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on plants poisonous to livestock:

"Do not plant any trees in the rose family.  This includes cherries, plums, apples, pears and several other common trees.  Under certain conditions, their leaves can be very poisonous to livestock."

Apparently there is sometimes confusion between Photinia melanocarpa (Black chokeberry)  and Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry). Both are members of the Rosaceae family and both are native to Ontario. Under the circumstances, we believe you have the name right and, although the plant you are inquiring about is in the Rosaceae family, we believe that is edible but not poisonous. Generally, all parts of plants from the Prunus genus are considered poisonous, but those in the Photinia genus are not.

From earthday coalition:

"The fruit of the black chokeberry, while bitter raw, makes excellent jellies, jams and juices. The berries also provide a natural red dye."

Conclusion: If it is chokeBERRY  you want to eat, go right ahead, but be prepared to have some sugar on hand if you don't want to pucker up.

 

From the Image Gallery


Black chokeberry
Photinia melanocarpa

Black chokeberry
Photinia melanocarpa

Chokecherry
Prunus virginiana

More Edible Plants Questions

Edible plants native to Bexar County, Texas
July 30, 2008 - What types of edible plants are native to Bexar county?
view the full question and answer

Can bastard cabbage be eaten from Austin
May 02, 2013 - On a local cooking show they were talking about cooking local foods and mentioned bastard cabbage but never showed how to cook it or if it was in fact edible. Would be a way to help get rid of it if ...
view the full question and answer

How was salal (Gaultheria shallon) used by the troops in WWII?
May 20, 2010 - We live in Vancouver BC. My mother says that during WW2 all the kids in her school were sent out to pick salal. They picked sacks of salal which were then sent to the troops. We are trying to find ...
view the full question and answer

Wild plums for jelly from Conroe TX
December 18, 2012 - Do wild plum trees grow in my area? I want to get some next summer to make plum jelly.
view the full question and answer

Edibility of fruit of Passiflora incarnata
July 19, 2007 - We have Passion flower vines growing, blooming and producing fruit all over our property and the land nearby. They are growing wild. We are near Greensboro, Georgia which is barely in the Northeast pa...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center