If you love blueberries, you can join the many more who do as well across the country. Blueberries are among the top edible berries growing wild that everyone loves to pick.
They make a great snack and are fantastic when used in certain dishes or desserts.
Issues come because many berries look like these small shiny blackberries in the wild. Many wild berries resemble blueberries and are harmless, yet some are toxic, and these poisonous berries need to be avoided.
In our guide, you will learn more than which is a berry that looks like a blueberry. By the end, you’ll have a better idea which is poisonous berries; berries that look like blueberries can confuse, so knowing this will keep you safe when tucking into harmless berry varieties in the wild. (Learn How Often To Water Strawberries)
What Wild Blueberries Look Like?
Wild blueberries are round, bluish-black, and other wild berries can also be bluish-black or black and are often mistaken as they resemble blueberries.
The 5-point crown on each berry distinguishes wild blueberries from other wild berries.
So if you encounter wild berries that are bluish-black with a 5-point crown, chances are they are probably wild blueberries.
The wild berry grows on bushes with narrow branches, broad, brilliant green leaves, and white or light pink blooms.
The broad leaves have a distinctly pointed tip. Wild blueberry leaves typically become light crimson in the fall.
So, if you see a wild blueberry look-alike bush, it’s probably a wild blueberry.
Common Types Of Blueberries?
Many individuals are unaware of the variety of blueberries. There are various varieties, but only two are widespread in the US. Blueberries types are sour top and lowbush.
The sour top berries dwarf lowbush fruit. They can reach a height of 24 inches compared to lowbush fruit, which will reach 15-inches.
While the sour top and lowbush plants are of different heights, they yield a berry. Sour top berries and lowbush berries have only two minor differences.
First, while the color is the same, sour top berries are waxy, whereas lowbush berries are powdered.
The second distinction is taste. Sour top blueberries are tarter, and lowbush blueberries taste sweet. (Read Do Strawberries Ripen After Picked)
What Berries Look Like Blueberries?
Now you know how to identify wild blueberries. You also know how to recognize common blueberries and the distinctions between the two main varieties.
Here are the main berry fruit options resembling blueberries.
Pokeberries are products of pokeweed plants. They look tasty, and the berries resemble blueberries at first glance.
The worst thing about pokeberries is that they are poisonous berries that look like blueberries.
Birds and other animals can eat pokeberries, but a child can die from eating them. Likewise, adults who consume the same amount of pokeberries can get sick.
Look for clusters to identify pokeberries. Pokeberries resemble grape clusters, are black and have purple in between.
Nightshades resemble blueberries and are multiple fruits often mistaken for blackberries. They are small, black, and look luscious.
North America has many nightshade species. Some are delicious, while others are toxic and unfit for human consumption.
It’s best to avoid them because it is difficult to discern between a deadly and non-poisonous nightshade berry tree.
No nightshade has a crown, so it will be nightshades if you see wild berries that resemble blueberries but lack a crown.
Bilberries, unlike nightshades and pokeberries, are linked to blueberries. As a result, it’s no surprise that bilberry bushes resemble blueberry bushes and grow wild in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest and woodland gardens.
Unlike nightshades and pokeberries, Bilberries can be eaten and are produced for that purpose in the United States.
You can tell if there are bilberry bushes by looking at the berries. The bushes you’re looking at are probably bilberry bushes if the berries are pea-sized and blackish or dark blue.
4. Salal Bushes
Salal shrubs resemble blueberry bushes in appearance. Blueberry bushes thrive in the same zones as these plants. As a result, you might mistake them for blueberry bushes if you come across them in the wild.
Salal shrubs can also yield bluish fruits that look like blueberries.
Salal bushes and blueberry bushes have a few distinctions. Salal bushes, for starters, are usually taller. They can grow up to 10 feet tall, especially if shaded by larger trees. On the other hand, blueberry bushes barely reach a height of about 20 inches.
Second, the leaves on salal bushes are lustrous, and the fruits produced by Salal shrubs are bland.
While Salal bushes resemble blueberry bushes, there are various ways to tell that they are not blueberry bushes and that the fruits they produce are not blueberries. (Learn How To Get Blueberry Stains Out)
5. Buckthorn Bushes
Buckthorn trees are native to Europe. They are, however, currently found in the wild throughout North America. The bushes resemble blueberry bushes, and the fruits are like blueberries.
However, upon closer observation, the distinctions between the two plants are easily discernible. To begin with, buckthorn bushes are substantially taller than blueberry bushes and grow 20 feet or more, but blueberry bushes rarely reach over 1.5 feet.
Second, buckthorn shrubs have large, thorny branches and Blueberry bushes lack prickly branches.
Finally, the fruits produced by buckthorn plants are not as delicious as blueberries, and they cause constipation. So, stay away from them like the plague.
Wintergreens resemble blueberry bushes in appearance when outside of the cold months.
Because green wintergreen leaves turn red when exposed to the cold, you can tell the difference in the winter.
Wintergreens yield red blueberry-like fruits that are round. However, because red blueberries are uncommon, if you encounter a blueberry plant that looks like a blueberry bush but has red spherical fruits, you’re probably looking at a wintergreen tree, not a blueberry bush.
The black huckleberry grows in the southern US and Canada. Appalachian box huckleberries resemble blueberries but lack a sweet flavor. Also, the berries feature ten big seeds, which are enormous.
Western Huckleberries grow wild in the western US and Canada and are huckleberry cousins. Often, they are called bilberries and whortleberries. They are heath plants and require acidic soil. Unlike blueberry trees, they yield single berries that resemble blueberries.
North American dwarf huckleberry grows to 24 inches. The berries are brilliant blue and taste like blueberries.
Native Americans used dwarf huckleberries and blueberries for food. However, modern berry farmers avoid these dwarf kinds because of their small size.
Toxic Berries That Look Like Blueberries
Know which wild look-alike wild blueberries are hazardous before you try to eat them. Here are several common hazardous berries in your yard:
- Moonseed (Menispermum canadense): This plant produces clusters of dark blue fruit. They have a bitter taste and have one seed.
- Black nightshade(Solanum nigrum): Dark purple berries bloom in bunches like blueberries. Green ones are more poisonous.
- Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana): Dark purple fruit in late summer. The plant’s foliage is more poisonous than the berries, but they can still make you sick.
Before eating them, make sure you know the difference between edible and toxic berries. Check your yard for typical hazardous berries that may tempt your kids.
Holly berries are toxic berries and contain the toxic compound saponin. It can cause nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. Add in mistletoe along with holly berries, yet with white berries, and also yew berries. Christmas berries make up a handful of toxic berries if ever eaten.
Other Berries and Fruits
Cloudberries are the berries of the Rubus chamaemorus shrub, which grows at higher altitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Cloudberries have white blooms and a yellow-to-orange fruit that looks like a raspberry and may be eaten raw.
Their tart taste is described as a mix of raspberries and red currants. The berries are high in vitamin C and ellagitannins, potent antioxidants to maintain the immune system.
The shrub Amelanchier alnifolia is native to Eastern North America.
It reaches a height of 3–26 feet and bears tasty saskatoon berries. These purple berries have a diameter of around 1/4–1 inch.
Sweet berries can be eaten fresh and have a sweet, nutty flavor. While they are delicious fresh, you may dry them or use them in pies, wines, jams, beer, cider, cereals, and trail mixes.
We think of a berry as a small edible fruit with exceptions such as Cranberries, where you’ll typically have dried berries or cranberry juice.
Red Currants and Black Currants
Redcurrants are similar in size to blueberries, and these shiny red berries have a tart, tangy taste that still has some sweetness.
Being an excellent source of antioxidants, red currants are good for your health, and black currants are even better. (Learn How Fast Do Birds Of Paradise Grow)
Strawberries and Raspberries
Bright red berries usually signify the color of aggregate fruit. This is because aggregate fruits contain high quantities of vitamin C are found in red fruits such as strawberries.
While not a true berry, Strawberries are a tasty berry fruit that can be eaten whole for dessert. They’re also tasty berries to put into smoothies, jam, or just combine and pour over desserts.
Also, many people consider blackberries to be among the most delicious berries available, not real berry.
Blackberries, like blueberries, are a fantastic source of antioxidants and vitamins. Blackberries are high in fiber and vitamin C and include several phenolic compounds.
Red raspberries are popular berries packed full of vitamin C and are on top with dietary fiber and more health benefits.
Consuming red raspberries has reduced the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
It is challenging to find fresh mulberries for sale. However, you can buy these berries frozen or grow a mulberry tree in your garden.
Açai berries are little black-purple berries that grow on the açai palm tree and resemble grapes.
Goji berries are an exotic red fruit that is more well-known in Western countries than acai berries.
Goji berries are a type of berry classified as a superfood. Fresh goji berries are challenging to come by; thus, they’re typically offered as red dried berries.
The Cape Gooseberry is an orange berry that belongs to the nightshade family of fruits. Because of their antioxidant concentration, the health advantages of these golden berries are astounding.
They aid in the reduction of inflammation, the strengthening of your immune system, and the provision of nutrients that are beneficial to your vision.
The sweet flavor of these orange berry fruits is similar to that of tropical fruits like mangoes and pineapples. These orange berries can be eaten raw, chopped up in a smoothie, or added to a salty salad for sweetness.
Cloudberries are a winter berry that resembles small orange raspberries and has a harsh, sour flavor. Cloudberries are described as tasting like a cross between redcurrants and red raspberries.
The vivid red, berry-like drupes that grow in enormous cone-like clusters on sumac trees are well-known. Sumac berries are abundant in vitamin C and have a characteristic acidic flavor.