Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn berries

Berries are one of the characteristic features of autumn. They lend wonderful colour to rural areas and parkland when all the flowers have gone over, and can be all shades from orange and red through to pale pinks and dusky blues and purples, and blacks. There are many different varieties in the Russia Dock Woodland and Stave Hill Eco Park. Here are just a few examples.

Common Hawthorn
Species: Crataegus monogyna
Family: Rosaceae

Serbian mythology states that the hawthorn is deadly to vampires and stakes must be made of hawthorn wood. A useful tip with Hallowe'en coming up? :-)

This looks to me, from the identification books, like Viburnum opulus, but I cannot remember any flowers that look like those associated with that specie flowering earlier in the year.

Dog rose rosehip
Specie: Rosa canina
Family: Rosaceae

There are many varieties of wild rose which produce hips with different physical characteristics. Oval and without a beard of sepals, unlike other types of rosehip.

High vitamin C content and used commercially in the production of marmalade and syrup, amongst other products. It is unknown where the name canina (dog) originated

Sea Buckthorn (female)
Species: Hippophae rhamnoides
Family: Elaeagnaceae

High content of vitamins C and E.
Leaves are eaten by a number of moth species, and the berries are favoured by fieldfares (a member of the thrush family)

Himalayan cotoneaster
Specie: Cotoneaster simonsii

Family: Rosaceae
A garden plant which, spread by birds, grows well in the wild
Semi evergreen

Contone is from the Latin name from "quince", cotoneus
Aster is from the Latin word "resembling", aster

Introduced from the Himalayas
Berries are particularly enjoyed by blackbirds and thrushes, pollinated by flies and midges

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