Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fall Color

I'd love to have shown off the bright orange persimmons our tree produced this year but hurricane Sandy seems to have blown them away. (I can only hope they managed to hit some politicians house.)

Any who, I've never been a huge fan of fall color though some of the brilliant yellow and brilliant red trees have impressed me. These scenes are few and far between though and only last a few days before they're gone. What's happening here is that insects can't see red as well as other colors. The plants are purposely producing this pigment to discourage aphids from laying eggs around them. In this way they won't be the first trees infested with them come spring. How effective this is is debatable though especially with yellow being such a common fall color.

Our Gooseberry plants seem to be all over the place with colors. Fall color varies from cultivar to cultivar, species to species, and plant to plant as with the flavor of the berries. Some species growing in the same field can vary dramatically. It makes me wonder if any of the vendors selling Gooseberry/Current in the US knows what they're doing.

From the same nursery this was sold as Red Gooseberry.

And so was this, but it has a different fall color, different branching habit, the leaves are slightly larger, and even the thorns were different. Next year I'll see about getting these identified to species level. 

 Crape Myrtles seem to sport every color in the rainbow.

Here I found the blurry view of our lawn through the stems of the Tall Tickseed to be an interesting composition. 

The nut-like seeds to our Buttonbush. It's nice to see some of these developed from all the attention the bees gave it this year.

Mixed among the leaf litter is a couple of my Hepatica plants, which are semi-evergreen.

Hepatica leaves last the winter and finally die off right when it flowers in the spring. New leaves are produced just as the old ones have all broken off.

Coral Honeysuckle, does not care that its winter or not. I've always been impressed by how cold tolerant this plant is. Barely any of the leaves have started turning yellow and it still has unopened flower buds to go! I swear this vine must drop its leaves for only two months of the year, and each spring it makes up for lost time by quadrupling the number of flowers it produced all last year. It's never been a heavy fruiting plant but there's always a berry or two where the flowers used to be.

Rose hips are another fruit showing off right now. I'm told these are edible, but honestly I wouldn't know what to do with them.