Friday, August 2, 2013
Highbush Cranberry - Watershed #13
Here are a few photos of the Highbush Cranberry which is a native in the Gardens at Waters East and the surrounding watershed. It has muti-seasonal beauty and grows 7 to 12 feet tall.
In June and early Summer the flowers appear looking almost like a hydrangea. Notice the large white flowers. They are sterile and only meant to attract insects and other pollinators to the plant. The fertile flowers are the closely grouped bud like formations found in the center of the circle of white sterile blooms.
In late Summer and throughout the Winter, the brilliant red fruit is seen. It can be used for jelly (However there is a caution. It smells like dirty socks so add a little lemon if you make jelly. That will take away the smell!)
In Fall, the leaves turn deep to brilliant reds. Very beautiful and attractive.
During the Winter months many birds and other animals use these fruits as an emergency food supply when there may be little else. They primarily eat the flat seeds inside discarding the fruit. (Actually they are not seeds but rather drupe which are like the cherry with a stone and not a seed). Some of the birds that favor this in Winter months are the Waxwings, Robins, even Ruffed Grouse which are found throughout this area.
There are a number of postings in the archives under the title of “Watershed”. If you want to see and learn more about this geological wonder which cradles the Gardens at Waters East, check out any of those past postings. The posting of July 2, 2011 gives some facts and photos. It is a good foundation to understanding this whole area.
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