SOLVED: Black Berries for miles on Christmas Day? Elderberry?

Alexandria, LA

Growing wild along the bayou in back. TONS of berries.
Elderberry, maybe? In December? And, are the
leaves correct? Not saw-tooth at all, but thick
And leathery like a pear tree. Need to verify
Safe to eat due to neighborhood chillin'
Thanks for the ID assistance!

Thumbnail by robertleegrant Thumbnail by robertleegrant Thumbnail by robertleegrant
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

They're not elderberries, of this I am sure.

Raleigh, NC(Zone 7b)

Ligustrum - definitely not safe to eat.

Alexandria, LA

Hmm. Ligustrum looks like a solid candidate.
Wondering, though. These trees are growing wild
In a swampy area behind my house. They weren't
Planted there. It's native to Asia but is that
Invasive? We built the house three years ago.
Could a neighborhood landscaping have spread
That far and grown (15' minimum) that fast?
New closer pic.
Thanks again!

Thumbnail by robertleegrant
Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

robert robert robert...yes this is one of many many plants which, though not native, can spread far and wide and thick! Ever heard of kudzu?
google non native invasive plants

Sorry to disappoint you after thinking you might have tons of elderberries

Alexandria, LA

No problem, I am only slightly dissapointed, but very greatful to have the information. Now that I have the plant name, I am reading about allergic reaction to it, and maybe that explains some things going on in our house.

So, in Spring, it's defintely going.

Interesting point, though. Four years ago, our neighborhood was a soybean field alongside a swampy bayou. So, unless it made the jump sooner, these Ligustrum made the leap from someone's ornimental landscaping to swamp-living, berry covered, 20 ft high monsters in a realtively short period. Interesting to me, as novice, anyway. Bah. I needed an excuse to buy a chainsaw. ;-)

So, I guess we call this one 'solved'. Thanks for the assist!

Alexandria, LA

Nice disucssion on the relative 'evil' of the Ligustrum from another site...

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

And then we hope the elderberry moves in!


Delhi, India

I thought we should be considering Californian Privet, Ligustrum ovalifolium. Waxleaf Ligustrum L. japonicum, is a shorter rarely growing more than 8 feet. L. ovalifolium can reach 15 feet, leaves are dark green above, yellowish-green beneath, as can be clearly seen in the last single photograph.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Add another (but no less an awful pest) species that is likely: sinense

Dimes to doughnuts this species is aggressively aggregating acres around robertleegrant...

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

For some reason, cutting/pasting the link leaves the specific epithet unlinked. Look up Ligustrum sinense and see if that is not a match for the problem plant.

Delhi, India

Perhaps robertleegrant can check it. L. sinense should be leafless by now, and leaves hairy beneath along midrid. L. ovalifolium is semievergreen, and leaves not hairy along midrib. The real distinction is flowers, corolla tube 2-3 times longer than lobes in L. ovalifolium, as long or shorter than lobes in L. sinense.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

L. ovalifolium is not listed as occurring in Louisiana (according to which for some reason won't let me link to the actual page for the plant today) It does occur in some nearby states (TX, AL, FL) so I wouldn't completely rule it out, but I think it's more likely to be one of the Ligustrum species known to occur in LA (L. japonicum, L. lucidum, L. sinense, or L. vulgare).

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Quote from robertleegrant :
So, in Spring, it's defintely going.

I'd make it go now, as soon as you can, before those berries seed themselves everywhere!


Groveland, FL

that tree looks like ligustrum lucidum. that kind of ligustrum can grow into a 20 to 25 foot tree very easily and produces a large quantity of seeds.

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