Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More of The Odds and Ends, A Friend, and Some Assistance, Please

Yesterday was a balmy day and I took advantage of it to explore a little more into the woods at the front of our property.  I didn't go too far into the woods in the summer, had enough tick bites while in Virginia. I ventured into the next lot a bit and while I was looking at some Golden Rod, I noticed some very familiar berries.  How fun to find some Callicarpa americana growing wild.  This one is about 3 feet tall and full of helmet scale.  It is the only one I found... there may be more, this time of year it is so easy to overlook a small shrub.

Along the other side property I found some Devil's Walking Stick, Aralia spinosa, with some Honeysuckle, Lonicera, wrapped around the stock.  Does anyone know how to tell native honeysuckle from Japanese honeysuckle?  Before it blooms that is, I can tell once it blooms.

Once I worked my way down to the water I was surprised to find a stand of Chasmanthus latifolium.  Guess it makes sense to find River Oats near the river....or lake...which is really a dammed river.

After walking along the water's edge I worked my way up through the backyard garden to the edge of the woods.  I found more buds on the Camellia 'Bonanza'.  Camellias are great to have in the garden this time of year.

Into the treeline of the next lot there are a number of Winged Elm, Ulmus alata.  The corky appendages on this tree are most interesting.
Happily I discovered that one of the trees along the property line is a Beech tree!  I love the long  tapered buds. 

While looking around at another Euonymus americana,  I found a little friend....

Now for the assistance..... I have a tree or tall shrub in the front up by the street.  If it had thorns this would be easier.  I think it resembles a Hawthorn, but it has no thorns.  The photos are not the best, but any help would be appreciated.  There is no evidence of blooms or berries.  The bark is smooth and light gray. 

 The leaves are obovate, serrated, and turn yellow-brown in the fall.   The nodes on the trunk are close together.  Not sure if it is multi-stemmed or there are a number of seeds that sprouted in one place.  If anyone has any ideas about what this might be --Please let me know!!!  One guess was a Serviceberry, Amelanchier...but again, I saw no sign of any berries.

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words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.


  1. Congratulations on your beech tree! I love the picture of the River Oats, and that Winged Elm is amazing. Sorry, I have no idea what your mystery shrub/tree is. It looks rather gangly and awkward at present, but as if it could be rather graceful with some judicious pruning.

  2. It could be a serviceberry. There wouldn't be any berries on it-they never stick around. I think I'd get my book and key it as I have no idea though honestly. The camellia is beautiful! Also I really like the sea oats. As for honeysuckle I've never seen the native kind anywhere so I always assume it is the Japanese kind:(

  3. I wish I knew how to tell native honeysuckles from the Japanese one (without seeing it eating a house or tree alive, that is). I always have to beg my daughter not to pick all the seed heads off the river oats. Can't really blame her since they tempt me, too!

  4. Ticks suck.

    Thanks for the walk.

  5. How fun to be able to go exploring and find so many surprises along the way! Spring time will really be an adventure. I hope someone can identify your tree for you, Janet.

  6. Sorry I can't help you with your id on that tree. I bet Les would know though. Glad to see you are finding some great natives on your property. Can't wait to see all the treasures you discover come spring. :)

  7. Dear Queen of Seaford,
    now that we have settled in after our move to Berlin I have time to read some blogs - and your post is, as always, really interesting! The wood sounds fascinating - the lizzard I had to look for a while - and to your question: I think I am helpless. First I thought: leaves like SLOE - but then they do have thorns. Some relative of a prune-sort of plant? - berberitze has thorns too - I wonder and stick to sloe. Maybe thorns come when it grows up (as in some people :-)
    Will look at your post and see if somebody could really help you!

  8. hi Janet- thanks, I was pretty excited about that Beech tree. Love them.

    hi Tina, I think it might be, especially since you say their berries don't stick around, will keep you posted.

    hi Eliza, I am afraid it is the Japanese honeysuckle that is growing here...will see come next spring. Sea oats are pretty ---in someone else's garden :-)

    hi Rosey, you bet!

    hi Rose, thanks.

    hi Racquel, I hope he can ID it...we shall see. I so look forward to spring...each season unveils something fun.

    hi Britta, I know what you mean about the lizard...I had my nose almost to his nose before I saw him! thanks for your ideas of my mystery plant.

  9. Despite Racquel's vote of confidence, I do not recognize your mystery tree, but like I tell my customers, if you like it, leave it. If you don't, I know how to kill it.

  10. I'm going to guess Possamhaw (Ilex decidua) for your mystery tree. Perhaps it doesn't have fruit because of its youth or because there isn't an opposite sex tree close enough.

  11. hi Les, what a talent ---knowing how to 'off' a tree. iwill keep your offer in mind.

    hi sweetbay- I think you may have the answer!! I will watch it in the spring. Duke's web site has good photos of the bloom.

  12. janet, that is japanese honeysuckle. the only native honeysuckle in the carolina piedmont that i know of (that is not a shrub) is lonicera sempervirens. it is pretty rare compared to the japanese. there are some helpful photos on the usda plant database.


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