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Maybe I’m mistaken but growing up I was told these are harmful and not to eat them. I Swear I see something that looks exactly like this when I’m out in the woods.
So now I have no idea if my family were aholes and lying to me lol
Or there’s another type of plant out in the woods that has berries like this, but the fruit is not edible.
 

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A traditional folk remedy, known among people in Mississippi’s hill country for at least a century, may provide some relief without all the worries of DEET and other harsh chemicals. Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service housed at the National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi have isolated compounds in the American beautyberry plant, Callicarpa americana, that may keep chomping insects away.

“My grandfather would cut branches with the leaves still on them and crush the leaves, then he and his brothers would stick the branches between the harness and the horse to keep deerflies, horseflies and mosquitoes away,” said Charles T. Bryson, an ARS botanist in Stoneville, Miss. “I was a small child, maybe 7 or 8 years old, when he told me about the plant the first time. For almost 40 years, I’ve grabbed a handful of leaves, crushed them and rubbed them on my skin with the same results.”

Bryson told his supervisor about the folklore repellent, and in 2004 the USDA-ARS at the UM natural products research center began investigating the beautyberry plant as a potential natural insect repellent.

Charles Cantrell, an ARS chemist in Oxford, and Jerry Klun, an ARS entomologist in Beltsville, Md., confirmed that the natural remedy wards off biting insects, such as ticks, ants and mosquitoes: “I’ve rubbed the leaves on my arms, and it works,” Cantrell said.

“Traditional folklore remedies many times are found to lead nowhere following scientific research,” he continued. “The beautyberry plant and its ability to repel mosquitoes is an exception. We actually identified naturally occurring chemicals in the plant responsible for this activity."

Three repellent chemicals were extracted during the 12-month study: callicarpenal, intermedeol and spathulenol. The research concluded that all three chemicals repulse mosquitoes known to transmit yellow fever and malaria. Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were not tested as part of the study, but the USDA-ARS has since filed a patent application to use callicarpenal as an anthropod repellent.

There are barriers, however, to producing the repellent for mass consumption. The product must be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which may cost millions of dollars, and a cost-effective manufacturing procedure must be determined.

“It’s difficult to bring a repellent onto the market,” Cantrell said. “We still have many unanswered questions: both the toxicity levels and evaporation rates are unknown. We’re still in the early stages.
 

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View attachment 279126 Maybe I’m mistaken but growing up I was told these are harmful and not to eat them. I Swear I see something that looks exactly like this when I’m out in the woods.
So now I have no idea if my family were aholes and lying to me lol
Or there’s another type of plant out in the woods that has berries like this, but the fruit is not edible.
Yes , that is exactly what you see. It’s also called French Mulberry.
Deer love to browse the stems and leaves
The berries are bitter
 

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I hope not. I planted a dozen for the deer years ago and each year, I grab a few handfuls of the berries and eat them. They are not very good, however they are allegedly packed with vitamins and nutrients.
 

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Swampboss - gold star . French Mulberry . Old professor , at UAM - Forestry / use ta say / ticks bad bout sitting on em .
 

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Swampboss - gold star . French Mulberry . Old professor , at UAM - Forestry / use ta say / ticks bad bout sitting on em .
Yes , ticks and red bugs/ chiggers hang out on these plants for sure. The worst case of red bugs I ever had came from pushing 200 yards through some about chest high one year in September moving a deer stand.
 

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Yes , ticks and red bugs/ chiggers hang out on these plants for sure. The worst case of red bugs I ever had came from pushing 200 yards through some about chest high one year in September moving a deer stand.
That makes my nips itch just thinking about it!
 

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I’ve seen years where the deer wouldn’t touch them, but the next year would wear them out. Maybe depends on mast crop production. But deer are like goats, they’ll eat almost anything. You sure can tell if a deer has been eating them when you take the guts out. Looks like purple paint.
 
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