Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Fruit in Fern Valley along the road

The trails inside Fern Valley are closed for construction, but there are still areas that are accessible along the road. Across the road from the Coastal Plain area adjacent to the lowest entrance are some curiously attractive plants. Rhus copallinum, Shining Sumac, (for its glossy foliage) has unbelievable red fall foliage and interesting fruit. It is a good substitute for the invasive Euonymus alatus, Burning bush. There aren't too many plants that can compete with Butrning bush for intensity of color, but this one can.

Just a few feet farther down the road a few purple fruit linger on the Arialia spinosa, Devil's Walking Stick. They perch geometrically on the pink pedicels. This is a plant that I have always had a fondness for. Its habit is ungainly at best, usually consisting of a suckering clump of unbranched stems that are often unable to hold themselves upright and lean haphazardly in a less than architectural form. Anyway, it's all about the fruit and you can see it this weekend.

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