A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife
Back to my studies of edible nature: the Guelder-rose is a deciduous shrub, standing about 5m tall. It has a maple-like leaves: three-lobed, 5 to 10 cm long and arrange in opposite fashion. The flowers are white, growing in dense corymbs, and produced early in summer. The fruit is bright red drupe, with one seed only, produced on reddish stems (which helps in IDing).
Spotted in lowland forest on edges of a protected marshland, at feet of Jura range in Geneva lake valley.
ATTN: slightly toxic when eaten raw! One of the synonyms for Guelder rose is European cranberrybush; but this tree and its fruit has nothing in common with cranberry. Moreover, beside an awful taste (I tried it last week - it is very acidic and bitter at the same time), the fruit is slightly toxic - eating more than two-three berries can cause the gastroenteric problems. However, once cooked and ideally sweetened, it can be eaten as a jelly, or, which is more often the case, added to other fruits when making mixed jams or chutneys... In addition to this, I've found in literature that the bark of Guelder-rose is used for relieving cramps - including muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, and cramps during pregnancy; but I don't know how it is used (concoction, powder?) and if it works...