Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Another discovery

I took a side trip into the woods on the north tract the other day and discovered a new species of bromeliad--not too many bromeliads in xeric habitats--but I think I'm up to three or four species of these epiphytes.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Discovering berries

I'm discovering more berries on plants in the scrub. I came knowing a few. I knew holly trees had berries, but I didn't know only the female trees did. At one point I worked out a ratio of male:female sand holly trees based on the presence/absence of berries. I seem to recall there was a great difference in the sex distribution (male trees outnumbered female). I don't know why and when I mentioned it to one botanist, she didn't either. I also knew about beautyberry (Callicarpa), which is present on all plants of this species.

Bumelia surprised me with its sparse, chocolate-colored berries along its thorny limbs.

Rosemary surprised me again. I didn't know it fruited, but when I was marking a trail through a rosemary bald spot, I looked over and there were drupes, as the botanists term them, all over one plant, but not others. This may be a sex thing. I don't know.

There are other berries. There are gallberries, blackberries and blueberries, all of which live somewhere on the preserve, though more in the sandhill and flatwoods sections. There are two varieties of grapes, which are a kind of berry, I suppose.

Scrub olives have inedible fruit, but it appears too large to be termed a berry, though I'm not sure what the threshold is for this sort of thing. Oh, well, they're all fruit.

There seems to be something else I'm missing. I'll remember it later.