Friday, September 18, 2009

Woodland Fruits & Nuts

These were taken along Turkey Trot Trail in Shelton. First is the fruit of Jack-in-the-Pulpit, which is pretty common in moist woods.

Next is Poke Weed, growing on the Silent Waters dam, which gets a bit more sun. Poke berries were used as a dye by Native Americans and colonists, and it is said the Constitution was written with poke berry dye. Another name for the plant down south is Poke Salad, which is where the name of the song "Poke Salad Annie" comes from (the plant is normally poisonous but was eaten with proper harvesting and cooking).

Growing out along the powerlines were some hazelnuts. This is a shrub I don't see with nuts very often in Connecticut, but I used to see it all the time in northern Wisconsin where there was lots of logging and shrubland. I'm glad CL&P didn't spray defoliant all along the powerlines this year like they once did, and just cut back the growth by hand. Otherwise the hazelnuts would have perished.

Finally, we have Dolls Eye Baneberry. It looks poisonous, doesn't it? That's because it is. This is one of the native species purchased for Eklund Garden earlier this year, but the berries in the picture were seen along the Turkey Trot Trail cutoff.

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