Plant ID, Please

Here’s a pic of the berries on a plant in my Maryland back yard, taken in October. It now looks like this in December. Any ID on what this plant is would be appreciated.


They look to me a lot like service berries, but I don’t know if they grow out east, and I am not a botanist.

A description of the plant would be helpful. Woody or not? How tall? What kind of leaves?

Wish I could remember. Was so focussed on the flowers/berries that I don’t remember the leaves. The plant gets pretty tall if I remember correctly, maybe 10 feet or so. Here are a couple pics (1) (2) from earlier this year in springtime.

But it’s non-woody?

Not entirely sure how to classify, but here’s a pic of a stem.

Could it be some variety of green briar; Smilax?

I am confident that it is not a serviceberry. For one thing, you wouldn’t see intact berries like that on a serviceberry in Maryland in October; they’d long since have been eaten by birds (or humans) or shriveled up and fallen off.

The flowers (and berries) are five-parted, while Smilax flowers are six-parted.

Also, the flower is quite different.

Amelanchier grows all over North America, with many wild varieties… This one appears wild as not a nice flower or fruit… You can all them all service berry presumably.

One is called “sanguinises” after its blood red branches.

I see Amelanchier arborea x grandiflora grows that many flowers and hence pomes (not a true berry) in each bunch…

The flower stem structure could be from one of them …

I believe that is a species in the genus *Aralia, *which includes the Devil’s Walking Stick.

I think you got it, newme. After some Googling it looks like Aralia spinosa or Aralia elata. I’m partial to spinosa for the nick name “Devil’s Walking Stick.”

Thank you!