Wednesday, August 01, 2018

More beaver pond plants

Our hot spell has broken. We had a couple of flashes of lightning this evening, a quiet roll of thunder, and maybe half a dozen raindrops, with more to come in the morning, "they" say. And five or six days of normal island temperatures ahead of us. Our forests breathe a great sigh of relief.

Rain or shine, hardhack is happy, as long as it has its feet in the water.

Hardhack, Spiraea douglasii, spp. douglasii. Grows in thickets, along stream banks. This one borders the road across the beaver pond.

Most hardhack flowers in tall spikes, but this one may have been bitten off by a browsing deer, and flared out. Busy bee collects hardhack pollen.

Red-osier dogwood also likes wet feet.

Fruits of R-O dogwood, Cornus stolonifera. A white berry when ripe, inedible.

Why only some of the berries have developed, I don't know. Maybe it's too hot, maybe it's just an off year. Maybe the rest will ripen a bit later.

And a bit further from the edge of the beaver pond, but still on damp soil, a few Black Twinberry shrubs add their colour to the greenery.

Lonicera involucrata. This is a twin, but the second fruit hasn't developed.

The twins that give the plant its name. The red bracts give it its Latin name, L. involucrata.

We used to call these pretty berries "loco berries", and were warned not to eat them. The Kwakwaka'wakw (speakers of the Kwak'wala language, a local tribal group) thought that if you ate one, you'd go dumb, unable to speak. Paralyzed by the horrible taste, probably. I never dared try.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting...maybe the plants feel a seasonal shift in temperatures and hold some seed in reserve?
    Gorgeous photos.Thank you.

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