An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter of November 19, 2007
issued from Yerba Buena Clinic just outside
Pueblo Nuevo Solistahuacan, Chiapas, MÉXICO
about 1740 meters in elevation, ± LAT. 17° 11' 27"N, LONG. -92° 53' 35"W

ALMOST BLACKBERRIES
(Lantana Fruits)

The other day as I descended the slope on a weedy trail I spotted some big, glossy-black blackberries that looked so succulently sweet and inviting that without thinking much about it I reached down as I passed by, pulled a few off, and threw them into my mouth.

Bitter!

I returned to the bush, looked closer and saw what's shown below:

(Lantana Fruits)

Clearly that's no blackberry, though the plant had been growing up through some leafy blackberry canes, so at least my mistake hadn't been entirely reckless. Typical blackberry leaves are "digitally compound," with leaflets arising from atop a petiole like a hand's "digits," but this plant bears simple, or undivided, leaves. In fact, the leaf shape and the leaves' crinkly surfaces ("rugose" in botanist terms) made me think of weedy Lantanas.

In fact, it is a Lantana, but I'm not sure which one since the flowers have long since fallen away as the fruits enlarged and matured.