Elderberry vs Blueberry: Similarities, Differences, and How to Tell Them Apart

Do you know the difference between elderberry and blueberry? Many people think they are the same fruit, but they are actually quite different. In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences between these two fruits, as well as how to tell them apart. Let’s get started!

Elderberry or Blueberry – What Are The Differences?

The main difference between elderberry and blueberry is the size. Elderberries are much larger than blueberries, and they have a slightly different shape. Blueberries are round, while elderberries are more oval-shaped.

blueberries
Blueberries

Another difference is the color. Elderberries are dark purple, while blueberries are blue or green when not fully ripe.

Elderberries also have a different taste than blueberries. Elderberries are tart, while blueberries are sweet.

Each of these berries belong to completely different plant species and are used for different things. For example, elderberry is often used for its many health benefits, including reducing the duration of cold and flu. Elderberries are also used in the kitchen for recipes, though not nearly as often as blueberries are.

elderberry
Elderberries

Another difference between these berries is that elderberries are poisonous until cooked, while blueberries can be eaten raw.

How To Identify Blueberries

Now that we know the main differences between elderberries and blueberries, let’s discuss how to identify them.

blueberries, fruits, berries
blueberry plant (note the smooth leaves)

As we mentioned before, blueberries are small and round. They are also very soft. When you touch a blueberry, it will squish easily. Blueberries also have smooth skin with no bumps. The bushes that blueberries grow on will also have smooth leaves with no jagged edges. The most important thing to keep in mind when thinking about how to identify blueberries is the word smooth. This applies to every aspect of the plant – leaves, flowers, and fruit.

How To Identify Elderberries

Elderberries are larger than blueberries and have a more oval shape. They are also much harder. When you touch an elderberry, it will not squish easily. Elderberries also have bumpy skin with large bumps. They are darker in color than blueberries, and often appear to be more purple looking. The bushes that elderberries grow on will have leaves with jagged “sawtooth” edges to them. Elderberry bushes will have lots of white flowers on them that eventually start to bloom into berries.

elderberry flowers, white flowers
Elderberry plant in bloom – note jagged edges on the leaves

Elderberry and Blueberry – What are The Similarities?

Even though elderberries and blueberries are different fruits, they do have some similarities. Both fruits are full of vitamins and antioxidants. They are also low in calories and fat. They are both dark purple/blue shades and are therefore easily confused. Both berries grow on bushes that are 6 to 10 feet tall and similar in dimensions, which is why they are often confused.

Which Is Better – Blueberry or Elderberry?

Taste

Now that we know the difference between elderberry and blueberry, you might be wondering which one is better. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question. It really depends on your personal preference. If you like tart flavors, then elderberry is probably the better choice for you. If you prefer sweet flavors, then blueberry is the better choice. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which fruit you like better!

elder, elderberries, berry

Nutrition

Elderberries and blueberries are both packed with vitamins and minerals. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from each:

 

Elderberry Vs Blueberry Vitamins and Minerals Table Per 100G
Vitamins/Minerals Elderberry Blueberry
 Vitamin A  30 mcg 3% DV  3 mcg 0% DV
 Vitamin K  0 mg 0% DV  19.3 mcg 16% DV
 Vitamin B1  0.07 mg 6% DV  0.037 mg 3% DV
 Vitamin B2  0.06 mg 5% DV  0.041 mg 3% DV
 Niacin  0.50 mg 3% DV  0.418 mg 3% DV
 Vitamin B5  0.14 mg 3% DV  0.124 mg 2% DV
 Vitamin B6  0.23 mg 18% DV  0.052 mg 4% DV
 Folate  6.0 mcg 2% DV  6.00 mcg 2% DV
 Vitamin C  36 mg 40% DV  9.7 mg 11% DV
 Calcium  38 mg 3% DV  6 mg 3% DV
 Copper  0.06 mg 7% DV  0.06 mg 7% DV
 Iron  1.6 mg 9% DV  0.28 mg 2% DV
 Magnesium  5 mg 1% DV  6 mg 2% DV
 Phosphorus  39 mg 6% DV  12 mg 2% DV
 Potassium  280 mg 6% DV  77 mg 2% DV
 Selenium  0.6 mcg 1% DV  0.10 mcg 0% DV
 Sodium  6 mg 0% DV  1 mg 0% DV
 Zinc  0.11 mg 1% DV  0.16 mg 1% DV

 

 

Elderberry Vs Blackberry – Similarities and Differences

Elderberries and blackberries are much easier to tell apart than elderberries and blueberries. Blackberries have distinctly large bumps on them which connect perfectly to each other. The entire shape of the blackberry is bumpy, whereas elderberries have some bumps occasionally, but not to the magnitude that blackberries do.

blackberries, bramble, berries
blackberry plant

Another easy way to tell them apart is the coloring. Blackberries are black as the name suggests, while Elderberries are a dark purple.

FAQ

Is Elderberry and Blackberry The Same Thing?

No, elderberry and blackberry are not the same thing. They are two different types of berries that belong to different plant species. The each contain different vitamins, nutrients, and have different tastes and uses.

Which Is Healthier – Blueberry or Elderberry?

There is no clear winner when it comes to blueberries vs elderberries and which one is has the most health benefits. Both fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti inflammatory compounds. However, elderberries have more vitamins and minerals than blueberries.

If you’re looking for a fruit that is higher in nutrients, elderberries are the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a fruit that is lower in calories, blueberries are the better choice. Both berries are high in dietary fiber (2.4g blueberries vs 7g elderberries), with the edge going to elderberries. You can take a look at the vitamin and mineral chart above to get a general idea of the vitamins that each berry contains.

north america elderberry plant

Which Has a Longer Shelf Life, Elderberries or Blueberries?

Blueberries have a longer shelf life than elderberries. When stored properly, blueberries can last up to two weeks. Elderberries, on the other hand, only have a shelf life of one to two days and will start to rot quickly. If you’re looking for a berry that will last longer, blueberries are the way to go.

Conclusion

Both elderberries and blueberries are distinctly unique berries but they still share some antioxidant and anti inflammatory health benefits. Have you ever confused elderberry for blueberry or vice versa? Let us know in the comments below!