Sunday, November 27, 2011

November Berries

Fruit-bearing trees and shrubs help many bird species make it through our cold northern winters. Here are a few plants that are still bearing berries near the end of November. All of these photos were taken in the past few days. Above is a very familiar tree, American Holly.

This is a Winterberry shrub, which loses all of its leaves in the fall but retains its berries through much of the winter. The shape of this individual plant suggested that it was a cultivar, though I do not know which, if any, it would be. I have never observed birds eating Winterberry fruits, but something must eat them as their fruit disappears gradually over the course of the winter.

Above are some rose hips from a Multiflora Rose shrub. Birds will eat these, sometimes in preference to berries from native shrubs. Multiflora rose is very invasive and may take over old fields if it is not kept in check.

Indian Coralberry is a native fruit-bearing shrub.

Most of the crabapples have been eaten already, mostly by European Starlings and American Robins, but a few are still lingering on the branches. Some of the remaining ones are starting to shrivel.

Not all fruit-bearing shrubs and trees still have their fruit. This Arrowwood Viburnum has been stripped bare of berries, leaving only empty fruit clusters behind.