How to identify our less common berries

how to identify tree berries

How to identify our less common berries

Hello! In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to identify our less common berries. Are you ready? Lets get started!

alder buckthorn

Alder buckthorn

Alder buckthorn has small berries, which ripen from green to red to dark purple and black and alternating, slightly hair leaves.

cherry laurel

Cherry laurel

Cherry laurel berries are purpley-black, grow in spikes and are poisonous. Their leaves are shiny, long and leathery.



Cotoneaster has small, bright red berries, which grow on short stems in small clusters all along the branches.



Dogwoods berries are very small and grow in clusters along the stems. Their leaves are bright and have long, curvey veins.

guelder rose

Guelder rose

Geulder rose berries are bright, bright red, round and hang in bunches. Their leaves have three lobes and hair underneath.



Mezeron berries turn from green to orange to red and grow directly along the branches. They are also very poisonous.



Privet berries are tiny, purpley-black and grow in grape-like clusters. Their leaves are short and thin. It is poisonous.

sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn

Sea buckthorn berries are medium sized, round and bright orange. The leaves, are long, pale and thin.



Spindle seeds are a bright orange, nestled inside a bright pink shell. They tend to grow in conjoined fours.

spurge laurel

Spurge laurel

Spurge laurel berries are oval or egg shaped and black. They hang in clustes near the tips of the branch.

Why are these berries less well known?

When it comes to identifying wild berries, most people tend to know a select group of edible or useful hedgerow berries, including hawthorn, elder, dog rose, bramble and sloe (because, they tend to be seen almost everywhere). But, there are many, many fruit and berry-bearing plants across the British Isles, that can be found growing in scrub, woodlands, riverbanks, uplands, heaths, moors and even by the coast.

So,  why are they not so well known? Perhaps because they are not ‘useful’ or because they are small, or inconspicuous, so people do not notice them. Or, they notice, but do not register the fact they have noticed them because they do not know their names and so have no connection to them. Who knows?

But, known or not well known, these berries are all a part of our countryside landscape and I think it is nice to look out for them, learn to recognise them and put names to their faces… which is why I put together this tutorial today. What do you think?


Well, there we go! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have a better idea now, of how to identify some of our less well known tree berries. To be notified about new nature walk tutorials, you can subscribe to My Nature Nook by clicking the button below x

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Hello, I’m Leila! Welcome to My Nature Nook. I help families learn about and connect with Nature. Learn more

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