Tag Archive | New York

Plums by the Beach

My favorite shrub of beach environments is the beach plum. I always look forward to its prolific blooms of five-petaled white flowers in the spring. Once pollinated by bees and other pollinators, it produces lots of fruit that are green at first, but by the end of the summer the fruit ripen into a deep-purple […]

The Vine That Grabs You

The Vine That Grabs You

My first encounter with this thorny vine was as a 10-year old boy traipsing through the woodlands on Long Island in New York. It formed impenetrable thickets in the wetlands near the house I grew up in. Its sharp thorns caught my clothing and it did not easily let go. I eventually broke free, full […]

Wild “Apples” of the Forest

Wild “Apples” of the Forest

If you see a small tree with with white blossoms that looks similar to a wild rose flowers, you may have found a species of chokeberry. Its five petaled bloom with pink stamens attract bees responsible for pollination. These small trees are four to eight feet tall and are members of the rose family. These […]

A Heath of Bogs and Wetlands

A Heath of Bogs and Wetlands

The last few blogs, I featured some of the members of the heath family of plants including blueberry, huckleberry and swamp sweet bells. Another member of this family and sometimes mistaken for blueberry because of its white bell-like blossoms is the leatherleaf. Leatherleaf has dark green leathery leaves on arching shoots often growing along the […]

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. […]