Saturday, December 04, 2010

Indian Coralberry

This plant is an Indian Coralberry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus). Indian Coralberry is native to North America, with its range covering most of the eastern United States, from Massachusetts to South Dakota and south to Florida and Texas. It is an understory plant common in post oak woodlands, but it is also grown as an ornamental (as is the case here). In autumn, the shrub sports distinctive pink berries along the branches.

Indian Coralberry is in the same genus as Common Snowberry and several other shrubs, most of which are called snowberry or waxberry. Like coralberry, Common Snowberry has distinctively colored berries in tight bunches close to the stems, but the berries are white instead of pink. Common Snowberry also has a somewhat more northerly range. The genus belongs to the Caprifoliaceae, the honeysuckle family.

Photographing this plant proved to be difficult since the branches are rather thin. While the center of the bush is stable enough to support a squirrel, the ends of the branches tend to bounce wildly in even a slight breeze. It made motion blur harder to avoid and also made it harder to know what I would get as a composition. I think it worked out, though.