Trees and Shrubs

Looks Like a Blueberry, But It is Not a Blueberry

Looks Like a Blueberry, But It is Not a Blueberry

A shrub often mistaken for high-bush blueberry because it grows in the same habitat and also has white bell shaped-blossoms that bloom in the spring is swamp sweet bells. Sometimes called fetterbush, its blooms are clustered at the tip of its branches in one sided four-inch long racemes. Bees, butterflies and other pollinators visit the […]

The Blue Huckleberry

The Blue Huckleberry

There are many species of blueberries and huckleberries. In the last two blogs, I focused on several species of blueberry – lowbush blueberry and highbush blueberry and one species of huckleberry – the black huckleberry. There is another species of huckleberry that grows in the pine barrens and unlike the black huckleberry that has black […]

Orange Bells in the Forest

Orange Bells in the Forest

The other day, I talked about walking through a pine barrens woodland where I saw blueberries in the understory of the oak forest. (See: “White Bells in the Pine Barrens”.) In addition to the white bells, I saw the reddish bells of another shrub with similar attributes growing amongst the blueberries – the black huckleberry. […]

White Bells in the Pine Barrens

White Bells in the Pine Barrens

In pine barren forests on Long Island in New York, May is the time of year for an explosion of growth in the spring woodlands. The leaves of red maples, scarlet oaks, black gums and various heaths have fully extended to absorb the sun’s energizing rays. As I walk down a path through freshwater wetlands, […]

Hunting for the Elusive Pyxie

Hunting for the Elusive Pyxie

In the spring of 1976, I drove two miles on dirt roads to a remote area of Connetquot River State Park Preserve in New York where I was a biologist. The purpose of my trip was to rediscover a rare plant called Pyxie Moss (Pyxadanthera barbulata). Despite its name and looks, the plant is not […]

Utah Juniper

  Dark green shrubs dot the landscape at Red Rock Canyon on rocky slopes and in the canyon. These plants survive where many would die with the fierce winds, subfreezing winter temperatures, excessive summer heat and bone dry soils. The Utah juniper is well adapted to the desert environment here. Its massive roots makes up […]

Cholla Cacti

  Several species of this cactus is common in the Mojave Desert at Red Rock Canyon. Its needle like leaves also reduces loss of moisture through transpiration and its roots are adept at collecting what little rain falls. It produces fruit eaten by big-horn sheep, chipmunks and rabbits. Birds like to nest in this shrub; […]