Plants with Berries: Bird Food & Landscape Texture!
This week, we collected a group of plant photos that highlighted an often overlooked landscape asset… berries! When it comes to assessing a plants characteristics, an easy breakdown is to use the four F’s: foliage, flowers, form and fruit. (1) Berries are the fruit that form from a single flower ovary on certain plants. Plants that produce fruit in berry form are considered bacciferous or baccate. (2)
There are many different berry types and classifications that contribute to a plants phylogeny, but for today, we’ll focus on the plants that produce a classically-defined berry containing the seed inside a fleshy pulp (pericarp). These berries, consumed and often scattered via birds and animals in the landscape are responsible for the continuation of many wild plant species. (2)
Berry Benefits for Birds
While not all flowers produce berries as a means to reproduction, the ones that do are often food source staples for birds and other animals starting in the late summer and extending throughout the cooler months of fall and winter. For more info on this topic, check out our posts on how to create a food-rich landscape environment for birds.
As the summer months are passing by, and we are nearing the start of September, we wanted to highlight several plants that are producing their berries now. From this week’s selection, check out the following berry “bearing” plants!
Viburnum dentatum, Arrowwood 3 gallon (Overstock) *Remember our plant spotlight a while back on this gorgeous shrub? Read more!*
Aronia melanocarpa 'Viking' (commonly known as the Chokeberry) 3 gallon (Overstock)
Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima' 3 gallon
Callicarpa americana (commonly known as the Beautyberry) 3 gallon
Hypericum frondosum 'Sunburst' 3 gallon
Adding Texture to a Landscape with “Berry-Bearing” Plants
Beyond their benefits as a fruity food source for critters and birds, these plants add a textural component to landscapes. Often hiding between foliage and at the base of stems, berry clusters add an attractive pop of color different from a flower. An often sought-after late-summer plant for this purpose is in our list this week: the commonly-known “Beautyberry” which is Callicarpa americana. Transitioning from an unassuming shrub to a showstopper over the course of the summer, this plant does not disappoint in its bold magenta berries. Our crop is just starting to adorn its color!
Other plants featured this week are popping with their richest summer colors and foliage and are ready now for purchase. To talk with our team today about which plants will excel in your landscape!