Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Little Color in the Dark

Searching for the last bits of color in the woods as the darkest, shortest days draw closer, I saw a lone bright squaw root leaf shining like an ornament among all the brown and drab dark green leaves left on its vine.  Nearby was a pretty little string of Carolina horse nettles, looking like a line of music, but very poisonous to humans.  They're in the solanaceae (nightshade) family, and they grow prolifically around here with their spiny, tough stems that are all but impossible to uproot in a garden.  The fruits are not poisonous to some birds, and each fruit has many, many tomato-like seeds that the birds spread.

On the right are some dark bluish-black plum-shaped privet berries, and going vertically down the page is a small section of a bittersweet vine.  The spiny twig with the pretty red berries is unknown to me, although I see it lots of places.  I don't think it's edible.

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