Table of Contents
- How Can You Tell If Wild Berries Are Edible?
- Edible Berries Native To Ohio
- Edible Berries in Ohio Winter
The edible wild berries in Ohio are something you can find along the years. You can start exploring the nature of Ohio. For instance along the stream banks, farm lands, road side and many more to find the edible wild berries for you to consume.
If you walk around and find the berries, such as raspberries, mulberries, and elderberries in Ohio, then it is like finding the treasure because those edible berries can be used for the jams and other delicious meals.
Here are the top 10 edible wild berries in Ohio. They are tasty and also healthy for your body.
Isn’t it lovely to eat something that brings a good impact to your health?
How Can You Tell If Wild Berries Are Edible?
First of all, you can see the color first. If the wild berries in Ohio are black, purple or blue, then it is a good sign. You also can taste it, but do not ingest it. Just like licking it first. If the taste is familiar, you can go with it. But if they taste bland, bitter, or weird, you better leave them out.
The green or yellow berries are something you can avoid. The red or orange are still 50:50, just like raspberries are edible, but American holly is pretty dangerous.
Edible Berries Native To Ohio
The following are the edible berries native to Ohio, although not exclusively grown only in Ohio. You can find them easily during summer to fall. The taste cannot be denied and you can use them for making signature meals.
Fresh and flavorful!
Who doesn’t know about Raspberries? This berry is often used for making jams, adding to the salad, cake topping, syrup, and many more. The flavorful and fresh taste becomes everyone’s favorite.
In Ohio, raspberries ripen after strawberries. It is best as a summer fruit crop or fall fruit crop. It means you can plant raspberries twice a year.
Planting raspberries is not instant because you have to wait at least two years to establish, and once it is established, the planting can remain productive for many years as long as you maintain it properly.
If you want to plant these edible wild berries in Ohio, you can prepare the open site with 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and expose them to sunlight for a day if you want a better result. But, if you find it outside, you can just consume it after washing the raspberries with clean water. And ready to make a jam.
When you are outside during summer or late summer, then you can find ripe mulberries easily throughout cities and towns. Because in June and July, it is the best time to harvest mulberries, even the wild ones.
Moreover, you can see that mulberry doesn’t look like any toxic berries in Ohio, so this edible wild berry in Ohio is ready for you to consume. Just like other berries, this one can be used for jam, jelly, or syrup.
If you are on a diet, you can make a dry mulberry as your snack without feeling guilty due to the sugar or calories inside.
You can find wild blackberries in May when the brambles turn into bright white flowers. The leaves have a sharp-toothed shape. The green berries will turn red and finally black during summer.
The ripe berries can be consumed from July until August since it is the best time for the ripe blackberry.
Although you can cultivate the domestic varieties of blackberries, enjoying the wild blackberries while you explore nature is a different experience. It is like hunting for the gold and saving the treasure when you are back home.
4. High-bush blueberry
Perhaps high-bush blueberries are the most delicious edible wild berries in Ohio. Although this plant is native to North America. Also, highbush blueberries are favorite for all creatures, not only for humans, but also the birds and mammals.
No one can doubt the taste of this berry.
Highbush blueberries have white-tailed deer that browse the leaves, buds, and shoots. The flowers usually bloom during the late April until mid May. While the fruits can be enjoyed during summer.
You can feel how fresh it is when you just explore nature in Ohio and find the blueberries ripened and ready to eat.
5. Wild strawberries
Kids will always love strawberries. Including wild strawberries. This plant has been around for thousands of years. growing perfectly in America and Europe. The delicious wild berries in Ohio are very common, native and belong to perennial plants.
The flowers are clustered, with white color and have five petals each that will bloom around April to June. So your spring and summer will be more colorful and joyful with this edible wild berry.
If you find a wild strawberry that grows at the end of each flower, although it is smaller, the taste is more flavorful. So you can pick it and feel the different taste.
Edible Berries in Ohio Winter
Usually, when the winter comes, you often feel confused because the food is limited to crops from nature or your own garden. But not for these edible berries below because they are hardy and thrive during winter in Ohio.
So, start from now, you can find them during winter and use them for the delicious meals fresh from your kitchen!
6. Wild grape
You can find wild grapes during winter along the Ohio River counties. The leaves and twigs are covered with gray hairs, but you still recognize that it is one of the edible wild berries in Ohio.
The taste of this berry is a bit tart but it is an excellent one for wine and some jams.
Although this plant loves full sun, yet during winter, it can thrive as a hardy plant. So you can still enjoy the berries while finding them in the cooler season.
Although it is native to Japan, this deciduous shrub is often found in Northeast Ohio. It can grow over 3 feet tall. Moreover, this plant tolerates a wide range of conditions, so that this plant is pretty hardy for diverse habitats.
Open woodlands, wetlands, fields, and roadsides are no problem for Barberries.
This plant is a compact and spiny shrub. The leaves are narrow and oval while the range colors are green to bluish green, then dark reddish purple. You can see them bloom during spring.
8. High bush cranberries
This plant can be found easily in northern Ohio. The height will reach 8 to 12 feet tall and just as broad. The bloom time is around late May to early June, but you can still see it during winter.
The berries are of course edible for humans with tart taste. When fall comes, the birds and small animals are happy to consume the fruits. While the fall is coming, the leaves will turn into brick red.
9. Black Choke-berries
This native shrub gives a four season performance with pristine, white, spring blooms, deep green foliage, spectacular fall colors, and brilliant red or black berries for winter interest and supporting songbirds.
Great in shrub borders, good cut berries, tolerant of some shade and tolerant of clay soil. This plant loves full sun or partial shade. And the best fruit production is under the full sun and well-drained soil.
This edible wild berry in Ohio has no serious disease or pest problems. It is not only edible for humans, but also for birds. During late winter, birds will wait for the fruits until they are fermented before eating them.
Also, you can harvest the berries for jellies and jams, because the berries are rich in antioxidants.
Elderberry is easily found throughout Ohio, especially along the edges of the streams, ponds, lakes, and roadsides. Elderberries are famous for antioxidants and vitamins to boost your immune system.
Hence it is often used to prevent cold and flu symptoms.
This plant is a hardy one, so you can still find it during winter, although sometimes they will go dormant when the frost comes. You can identify the elderberry by the stems and the branch which bumps on the woody bark.
The woody stems also have many tiny bumps. You better harvest elderberries during fall, so you still can enjoy the jam for the winter season.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
What do poison berries look like?
Usually, the shape is small, the color is rather than green or yellow. Then when you lick it, it feels harsh, bitter or strange. Don’t ingest it, just spit it out once it tastes strange. Don’t forget to gargle and drink enough water.
How do I identify a wild berry bush?
Mostly, edible berries look like the toxic ones. For instance water hemlock has a deadly effect but it is similar to elderberries. So, you better refer to the guide first before tasting them. Also, you can do it safely just by picking up the familiar ones.
Never take a risk by only trying the wild berry bush. If you can’t confidently identify a wild berry bush or tree, you can’t be sure its berries are edible.
Do blackberries grow wild in Ohio?
Yes, blackberries grow wild in Ohio. You can find ripe blackberries outside during summer. So, if you are planning to do summer vacation or summer camp, try to find ripe blackberries and don’t forget to make it for the jams or jelly.