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Berries are a group of fruits seen in various media across the DreamWorks Dragons Franchise.

Description

In common vernacular, "berries" typically refer to small fruits from a variety of plants. Scientifically the meaning of berry is different, referring to fruit produced from a single flower ovum. To avoid confusion, here berries refer to the common definition.

Function

The primary function of berries are as food for humans and animals in the Franchise and in real life. However, not all berries are edible by humans and animals, or animals may eat some humans cannot, or vice versa.

Many berries and their plants can be used in herbal medicine and as dying agents.

Types of Berries Seen in the Franchise

Bearberry

There are actually three species of bearberries - Alpine bearberry (Arctostaphylos alpine), Red bearberry (Arctostaphylos rubra), and Common bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Most likely the latter is the species dealt with in School of Dragons. All three, however, are very short shrubs that produce small red berries and have round-ended green leaves. Bearberries grow in cold northern climates and can also be found in large mountain chains, such as the Alps.

Bearberries are a farm item the player can grow in School of Dragons, presumably to eat. The berries are edible, though care must be taken not to over-indulge or they may cause some stomach upset. Bearberries are also food for wildlife. School of Dragons indicates "Bearberries are like candy for bears", and goes further by having a Farm Job requiring bearberries "to lure bears away from Berk's food stores."

Oddly enough, another Farm Job uses bearberries to lure foxes away from food stores.

Astrid needs some berries to lure wild foxes away from our food stores.
  School of Dragons  


One Farm Job indicates that Dragons eat berries in addition to humans and bears.

Cloudjumper likes to eat the finest berry mixture!
  School of Dragons  


The berries also make an appearance in some "medicinal" concoctions in School of Dragons.

Heather invented a skin ointment that cures most dragon rashes
  School of Dragons Farm Job  


Blackberry

Blackberries are any member of the Genus Rubus. The berries produced are botanically "aggregate" fruits, or rather a small cluster of "drupelets". Blackberry bushes typically have a vine growth habit and and are covered with thorns. However, some cultivars have been bred to have a more up-right growth pattern and be thornless.

Though not seen, Tuffnut mentions crashing into a blackberry bush while falling down a hill in "Night of the Hunters, Part 1". Blackberries are famous for their thick brambles covered in sharp thorns, suggesting that Tuffnut suffered some significant pain when he crashed into the bush.

Blueberry

Blueberries belong in the Genus Vaccinium along with cranberries, bilberries, ligonberries, and huckleberries. Blueberries are seen in "Defenders of the Wing, Part 1" when the dragon riders land on Caldera Cay. Fishlegs sees a bush of blueberries and stops to pick some, but a hidden soldier pulls him aside before he could get some.

Elderberry

Elderberry refers to species of the Genus Sambucus. These berries have been used for food historically and currently. The berries must be cooked or processes in some way first, however, as they are considered mildly toxic, with the exception of the European Elder. They are often used in cooking deserts and for beverages. Elderberries have also been used medicinally to treat respiratory issues. Treating respiratory issues is reflected in School of Dragons when the player is asked to provide elderberries to complete a Farm Job, which "Phlegma thinks she can use some elderberries to treat the flu."

In the DreamWorks Dragons Franchise, Elderberries are a harvestable crop a player can grow in the game, School of Dragons. The elderberries can then be used to complete Farm Jobs for coin rewards from Trader Johann.

Two Farm Jobs indicate that Dragons eat berries in addition to humans, or more specifically Cloudjumper.

Cloudjumper likes to eat the finest berry mixture!
  School of Dragons  
A fine medicinal and vitamin rich juice for Cloudjumper.
  — A Farm Job also including beets  


Another Farm Job indicates that flutes can be made from elderberry wood.

Fishlegs read that you can use elderberry branches to make flutes, I can't see it, but I always fill demand, with your help.
  — Trader Johann in School of Dragons  

Grape

Grapes are the berry of grapevines - plants belonging in the Genus Vitis. Native species mostly occur in the Norther Hemisphere in temperate climates. Cultivation of some species began in the Near East thousands of years ago. Most famously, grapes can be fermented into wine. The fruit can also be dried for preservation (called raisins), and even the leaves can be pickled and eaten. Historic Vikings would have encountered grapes and grape wine in their travels to the European continent.

There are a few mentions of grapes in the Franchise. In the Dragons: Riders of Berk episode "Dragon Flower", Gobber comments that he's "seen a Nadder's spine slice through a man's eyeball like a grape."

A grape product - grape seed oil - is mentioned in the graphic novel, Dragonvine, when Tuffnut Thorston wonders if Eret, Son of Eret uses grape seed oil on his skin.

Green Berry

Small, Medium, and Large Green Berries are seen in the game How to Train Your Dragon. Green Berries restore a certain amount of the health of the player's dragon, depending on which size berry it is. Green Berries are rewarded after fights with other dragons.

Green Berries are specific to the game and do not exist in real life.

Holly

Holly is a large group (Genus Ilex) of evergreen shrubs occurring in temperate regions around the globe. The most commonly known species is the European Holly (Ilex aquifolium), which is characterized by shiny green thorny leaves and bright red berries. Holly branches are used ornamentally, especially around the Christmas holiday as decoration. Holly species are generally considered toxic, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and even death. However, they have been used with care medicinally. One species from South America called Yerba Mate is used to make a stimulant tea.

Holly berries appear in the games, Dragons: Rise of Berk and School of Dragons as part of seasonal decoration and seasonal collection items.

Lingonberry

A type of wild cranberry common in Scandinavia, Lingonberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) have been mentioned twice in the franchise. First was in "Fright of Passage" when the twins tricked Snotlout into collecting difficult-to-acquire objects before he could take refuge in their emergency bunker. One of the things on the list was a "lingonberry smoothie; shaken not stirred", which Snotlout managed to find, or possibly make himself. The second mention was in "Total Nightmare" when the Riders are fearful of their dragons rebelling like they believe Hookfang had. While grooming their dragons, Astrid and Hiccup smell something delicious and find Fishlegs giving Meatlug a rub down with her "favorite lingonberry oil", as a way to pamper her in hopes she'll remain loyal to her rider.

Poisonous Berry

In "Defiant One", Snotlout eats some purple berries that resemble tiny eggplants despite Hiccup's warnings that they might be poisonous. Turns out they were indeed poisonous, and caused Snotlout's tongue to swell up. Soaking it in Night Fury saliva for a bit brought his tongue back to normal.

Purple Berry

Small, Medium, and Large Purple Berries are seen in the game, How to Train Your Dragon. Purple Berries both increase the super meter of the player's dragon and its health, depending on which size berry it is. Purple Berries are rewarded after fights with other dragons.

Purple Berries are specific to the game and do not exist in real life, however, they do resemble grapes.

Raspberry

Raspberries belong to the Genus Rubus, along with blackberries. The two types are very similar, but can be distinguished when picking - raspberries come off the vine with no attachments and have a hollow center, while blackberries do not. Raspberries are typically red in color, but cultivars have been bred to produce "black" coloring (deep purple) and also yellow.

Wild raspberries are briefly seen in "The Iron Gronckle", where Fishlegs eats so many of them he ends up with a stomachache. Gobber eats some as well, when Fishlegs brings him back to the site where they suspect Meatlug ate the rocks that produced Gronkle Iron.

Red Berry

Small, Medium, and Large Red Berries are seen in the game, How to Train Your Dragon. Red Berries increase the super meter of the player's dragon, depending on which size berry it is. Red Berries are rewarded after fights with other dragons.

Red Berries are specific to the game and do not exist in real life, however, they do resemble raspberries.

Sea Buckthorn

A Sea Buckthorn is a possible real-life equivalent to the Buckthorn seen in "The Eel Effect". This sea-side plant has edible orangy-colored berries. Please refer to Buckthorn for more information.

Strawberry

Strawberries are red plump fruits commonly referred to as a berry, though botanically it is an "aggregate accessory" fruit. Strawberries typically grow on low-trailing vines. The actual strawberry seen today is a hybrid - Fragaria × ananassa - developed in the 1700s. Vikings may have come across the much smaller wild species such as the Woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) orMusk strawberry (Fragaria moschata).

Strawberries appear in the game, School of Dragons as a harvestable crop the player can grow on their farms, then be used to complete "Farm Jobs" for rewards. One Farm Job indicates that Dragons eat berries, in addition to humans.

Cloudjumper likes to eat the finest berry mixture!
  School of Dragons  

Another Farm Job indicates that a tea made from strawberries and mint can help soothe stress. Strawberries, along with carrots and toothache plants are also used for Meatlug to soothe her after a tooth removal. Additionally, in School of Dragons, strawberries are implicated in making paint. Yet another Farm Job mentions the strawberry's high vitamin C content, by feeding it to Hookfang who has eaten too many beans with Snotlout.

Unspecified Berries

Berries which aren't given names or cannot be definitely identified are seen in various media.

Red colored berries are seen in the background of seasonal 'Thanksgiving Meatlug' in Dragons: Titan Uprising. Most likely these are meant to be cranberries which match the season. However, they more closely resemble cherries, especially due to the dual connected stem seen on a pair of berries. Cherries are harvested in the Spring and Summer.

Blue colored berries and red colored berries appear in the Dragons: Rescue Riders episode, "Home Alone". The blue ones look highly similar to Blueberries, but the red ones look like red blueberries, which do not exist in real life. These berries aren't named, but are edible and can be used for dye.

References

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