Thursday, October 22, 2009

Berries from northern Michigan

The last 2 posts of flowers from northern Michigan included plants that I was able to identify. Not so in this post (with one exception). When we were there in July there were several plant species that were putting out fruit. Here's one that I don't recognize.




If I had to guess, I would say Elderberry, but their berries are very dark, aren't they? If anyone has any suggestions on the ID of this plant, I'd be happy to hear them.



Here's another one I don't know. These berries turn a lovely shade of blue come September, but they're pale green in July.




Again, any suggestions as to the ID would be appreciated. This is definitely a plant that likes shady locations, if that's of any help.


This one I was able to identify, but if I had just the berries to go off of alone, I never would have figured it out.


Aha! Berries and flowers right on the same plant. Looks like we've got some Bittersweet Nightshade here.


Like the Wild Peas from a few posts ago, this plant was observed in multiple stages of development. Some of the flowers were still just forming and hadn't even bloomed.


Here's a nice blossom. For some reason, I have the hardest time remembering the name of this plant. When I see it, I know I know it, but I can't remember the name! I have the same problem with Sweetgum trees. Don't know why. I guess I need to work on some kind of mnemonic device to help jog my memory.

I'm just about ready to wrap up my showcase of flowers from northern Michigan so we can get to more seasonally relevant posts. I hope you have enjoyed these posts.

6 comments:

Tom said...

Heather, it looks like the first one is red berried elder, and the second plant is blue cohosh.

Nature As Is said...

Lovely shots Heather :)

Jim McCormac said...

Excellent work as always, Heather, and I heartily concur with Tom on the ID's. Red-berried Elder, Smabucus racemosa, is rather rare and local in Ohio, but becomes very common up where you were in Michigan.

A wrench has been tossed into the Blue Cohosh complex in that some authorities believe there are two species lurking within: the one that you photographed, and the Giant Blue Cohosh, Caulophyllum giganteum, with purple sepals and an earlier flowering period, among other differences. Splitting these two is probably the right thing to do.

Jim

Kristen said...

I always love your pictures, but I especially like the first one of the green berries, they remind me of grapes when they first start to grow. The picture makes me feel like I could stick my hand into the computer screen and touch it :)

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Heather,
I found Blue Cohash for the first time on our trip to Michigan this summer, too. Except, that by the time I found it, the berries really had turned blue.
IDs are hard when you catch the plant without flowers, aren't they?

Heather said...

Tom - Thank you for identifying these! I knew I could count on your help here!

Crista - Thank you!

Jim - Thanks to you also for the ID help. What is the other possible species of Blue Cohosh that is believed to be out there? I assume if they're calling one "Giant," the other must be "Small" or something similar? Never a dull moment when it comes to pinning down species, it seems.

Kristen - Thank you. The green berries also made me think of grapes. There's almost a velvety quality to them.

Nina - Ah, glad you found the Blue Cohosh, too. Aren't their blue berries brilliant? They really stand out against the foliage. I checked my field guide to see what the flower of the cohosh looks like, and it's very unique. Maybe one of these days I'll actually get to see the flower in person. Yes, plant ID without the flowers is quite difficult, but I'm striving to learn to ID flowers outside of their bloom period. Thank goodness there's always something new to learn!