Wild Fruits And Berries
Have you ever tried to collect and name some of the beautiful wild berries or fruits that you have come upon, especially in the autumn and spring? When it comes to appreciating them, two facts come to mind:
- The birds depend upon them for food and time their flights to follow their harvests.
- Berries and fruits repay our interest by giving us beautiful material for decorating. sprays of Bittersweet for example make a lovely touch of color when the flowers are all gone.
- Pine cones last a long while, and finally, when their use for adornment is passed, they still make a cherry blaze in the fireplace.
- Partridge Berry can be set in a covered glass bowl with a little moisture and it will gaily gleam and draw many an admiring friend to gaze upon its glossy foliage and fruit.
Unfortunately, however, many people today do not know much about berries found in the wild or even in their own backyards. Here are some of my favorites that everyone should be familiar with:
The Cloudberry is really a species of dwarf raspberry which grows from four to eight inches high in the highlands of the UK, in the arctic and sub-arctic regions, and even in some localities in Canada and the New England portions of America. The flowers are large and white.
Many people are familiar with the Crabapple, with its bright red fruit which has such a bitter taste. Originally probably a native of Central Asia, the apple is cultivated now in all temperate regions and in many varieties. It was introduced to America from England by a governor of the Masachusetts Bay Colony, and into Canada by the French Acadian settlers.
The Sweet Briar (or Eglantine), a native of Asia and Europe, ahs been brought into eastern America. It is a tall stemmed rose, well armed with prickles. It gets its name from the delicious perfume of its leaves.
The black berries fo the Privet succeed its spike of white, heavily perfumed flowers. common in the old world, the Privet is planted and to some extent naturalized in America.
The Strawberry Tree is a southern European plant. Its fruit is quite beautiful and agreeable to the taste, and in Spain a popular beverage is made from it.
All of us know the Acorn, the fruit of the oak. In some periods of civilization acorns have been used for food, and indeed are still so used in some countries.
Many gardeners are familiar with the Barberry by its hanging bunches of yellow flowers which have such a disagreeable odor. The berries are elongated in shape and pleasantly acid in flavor. Although native to Europe, the plant has been naturalized in the U.S. and Canada.