Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago): Images

Date Location Notes Images
May 10, 2012 Southeastern, New Hampshire The 5-lobed white flowers formed into flat-topped infloresences and opposite leaves were a couple keys to see that this is a Viburnum. Two of the keys to determine what type of Viburnum is whether the leaves are lobed and whether there are prominent leaf veins that may branch, but run all of the way to the teeth. In this case the answer to both questions is, “No.”

Using the new botanical guide by Arthur Haines, Flora Novae Angliae: A Manual for the Identification of Native and Naturalized Higher Vascular Plants of New England, you can see the flow of steps used to identify this species of Viburnum:
  • Leaf blades not lobed.
  • Winter bud has scales. Only two other Viburnums in New England have unlobed leaves and no leaf bud scales: Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides) has very large leaves with a large sterile flower surrounded by small fertile flowers. Wayfaring Tree (Viburnum lantana) has gray stellate (star shaped) hairs on the back of the leaves and there is a short stalk of the inflorescence (penduncle).
  • Leaf blades with many-forked and not prominent pinnate veins that do not extend to the tip of the teeth. Winter buds with 2 valvate scales.
  • Inflorescence (cymes) not elevated on a peduncle.
  • Leaf stem (petiole) 10-20 mm long and has a wavy or tiny tooth-like projections. Some leaf blades have an acuminate tip (gradually tapering to a point with concave sides along the tip). I could not find many acuminate tips. There were only a few. But it is not Smooth Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) because those leaf petioles are only 5-12 mm long.