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Plantidote of the Day 2012-05-08

twig's picture


Mystery plant

Here's a strange one -- this is a smallish (between 5 and 6 feet) tree or large bush growing in Zone 10. The leaves are heart-shaped and have serrated edges. (You can enlarge the image by clicking on it for a better view.)

The tree/bush is deciduous; every fall it loses all its leaves and they come back in the spring. But it has the weirdest little red "berries" growing on the branches, like raspberries but brighter red. I don't think the berries are preceded by flowers, but maybe I missed them. There's only one of these around that I know of, and I'm curious about what it might be. Look familiar?


Readers, please send twig ( images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chantrelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

It sure looks like the pictures of other mulberry trees online, except not as healthy. They have tons of berries, and this one only has a few scattered around the branches.

Thanks very much! I never would have guessed mulberry.

Submitted by lefttown on

eleven mulberry trees. It's a mess at times, and our dog has purple patches on his fur off and on during the summer.
My brothers and sisters keep hinting about the wonderful mulberry pies our mother used to make, but I don't know how she brought out that sweet mulberry flavor. It's not worth the effort for me, either, because I couldn't achieve that.
I think of the mulberries as mother's nature's gift to the birds (who regift it by crapping purple on cars, windows, and doors).

JoeInSF's picture
Submitted by JoeInSF on

are that when they dropped on the ground they really were a thick mess. We would walk around on them until a massive layer built up on our soles and pretend we were wearing platform shoes.

(I guess it was a simpler time.)

Submitted by lefttown on

We used our imaginations on those long summer days.
When the berries were ripe, and it was time to gather them, my mother got an old blanket, climbed up in the tree and shook the branches. The ripe ones would drop, and our job was to pick through them and stem them. Our hands were purple for days. I wonder what kinds of memories kids today will have?
Twig, we had a late frost here and it killed the first leaves. Maybe that's why they look so puny.

Submitted by lambert on

I've been trying to photograph insects, and it's not easy. Part of it is that my camera's not so good, but part of it is me; hands not so steady as they were!