Twigs and Berries

Date: November 22, 1998
Location: KC Trail, Amherst, Mass.
Plants seen: Climbing Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens);
Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea);
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina);
Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana);
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata);
Notes: At a used bookstore I picked up Studies of Trees in Winter by Annie Oakes Huntington, published in 1901.  It kindled an interest in learning to recognize trees and shrubs by their buds, bark and other features that survive into the winter.

Click to enlarge

climbing bittersweet Climbing Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens).  Fleshy red seeds appear after shedding yellow skin.
scarlet oak Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea).  Oak twigs characteristically have several terminal buds, and the scarlet oak has bright red leaves in autumn.
staghorn sumac Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra).  Has a smooth stem, unlike the downy stalk of the staghorn sumac, said to resemble a young stag's antlers. 
virginia rose Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana).  Rose hips.
winterberry Winterberry (Ilex verticillata).  Also called black alder, it is a deciduous member of the holly family.
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