Friday, August 14, 2009

The Beauty of the Berry

For the past several months, we've been trying to identify a plant that is growing all over down by the pond. It's ironic that we couldn't figure it out, because it's something we actually purchased a few years ago to plant in our suburban yard: American Beautyberry.

We can tell what it is now because there's no mistaking the beautiful berries it produces. Look at the color.

It's a native plant, and the berries are apparently an important food for birds because they last well into the winter. We had bought it for the other house because we saw it on a trip to Jekyll Island, on the Georgia coast, and just had to have those berries. We waited and waited for the berries to develop, and when they did, they were white. We decided that they must turn white before they turn purple, but they never did. We finally read up and found that we had purchased the 'rare white Beautyberry.'

Rare, schmare -- I wanted purple! Well, now I've got lots of them.

I had to show this picture too. We have pokeweed all over. It's poisonous to animals (and humans), and a landscaper told us that people will know we're Yankees if we don't pull it. Well, I'm pretty sure they already know we're Yankees -- that's a little hard to hide around here -- and the berries are edible for birds. Our animals just ignore it, so we're leaving it.

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