Sunday, November 27, 2011

Frangula (Rhamnus) caroliniana. I like this plant

It's a SE US native, either a large shrub or a small tree, typically growing to about 15 feet tall. The textural effect of the glossy leaves with deeply incised parallel veins is an interesting contrast to the more usual understory plants here in USDA Zone 7. As a plus, they linger well into fall or even early winter. The red drupes are attractive in season; apparently birds love them and move the plant around in their travels. In fact, Mike Dirr is less than enthusiastic about the value of Rhamnus in the landscape, I'm sure in no small part due to its tendency to seed about. I'll keep an eye on it here, but we're hundreds of miles further north and with luck it won;t be weedy. Even so, I'd prefer it to the woody Loniceras that have taken over so much of the wild understory hereabouts.

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