<<RE-UPDATED AT BOTTOM – it’s Sideroxylon tenax!>>
I need some help. I found a shrub on the same hike I was taking when I found yesterday’s scary cactus.
I’m 99.9% sure this is an Eleagnus:
It has the same strange shape to the new growth, it has leaves that are a weird color underneath them (a rich brown, not silver like some of the other eleagnus varieties), it bears fruit with a single pit and it was growing in poor soil but still exhibited good green growth, meaning it’s probably fixing its own nitrogen.
Look at more pictures:
Notice how they’re rounder than the other Eleagnus fruits – and they don’t have the silver or gold “sparkles” on them.
Anyone have any idea what this could be? I ate a bunch of berries without getting sick, so I’m reasonably certain it’s not poisonous. (Kids – don’t try this at home!)
Whatever it is, it would make a great addition to a food forest.
B.A. e-mailed me a tip that it might be Reynosia septentrionalis. The fruit is right, but the leaves and growth are not quite the same as the photos I’ve found.
In the comments, Misti suggests Ilex glabra. Close, but the fruit and leaves don’t quite match. No pucker on the end of these fruits.
B.A. e-mailed me two more suggestions.