Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Simply Summer - Fruits Blooms and Berries

It's summertime, the living is somewhat easy (at least more relaxed), and I have renamed my Wednesday feature "Simply Summer". 

Take a walk with me through some parks and neighborhoods in the Binghamton, New York area to see what is blooming and what is berrying.
My thanks to a certain reader who is an expert on plants and will be helping me out from time to time.
First up, rhus glabra - smooth sumac.  I found this in Otsiningo Park near Binghamton, New York.

When I lived in rural Arkansas we experimented with making a tea from the berries of sumac.  It was too tart for my taste.  I've now found the leaves and roots of this particular sumac were used medicinally by Native Americans. 
Second - mulberry.  This tree was dropping black berries all over the sidewalk in front of a house on the West Side of Binghamton.

Third- elderberry.  These were in bloom last week on the Vestal Rail Trail. 

This is a closeup of the flower, which is edible, as is the fruit.  Years ago, again in Arkansas, we used to make fritters with the flowers (which can also be used medicinally) and jam with the fruits. (needless to say, you can make wine,too.)  Elderberries are a member of the honeysuckle family.

I want to close with a couple of fruits of non-native invasive honeysuckles.  Beautiful the flowers are, beautiful the fruits are - but these plants do not belong in our ecosystem-period.

This nonnative honeysuckle could be Lonicera Morrowii or L. maackii, and to me (and her) it looks more like the latter.

And, finally, another nonnative honeysuckle, Lonicera Tatarica, Tatarian honeysuckle.

Next Wednesday, I may be blogging about the Civil War (due to the 150th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg) so the next Simply Summer feature may be in two weeks.
Do you like summer? If you do, what is your favorite part?


  1. You can make wonderful cordial from the elderflower too. We get through gallons of the stuff in the summer.

  2. Very interesting information and the blooms are beautiful.

  3. I love your photos! They're beautiful.

  4. I always enjoy the strolls around your neighborhood and find your posts interesting and informative without getting too technical. Thank you.

  5. What a beautiful looking place. I love walking, I find it very relaxing and it gives me a lot of time to think!

  6. Wonderful pictures of native fruits. I drink tea made from elderberry eavey day, and also mixed berry tea. They're delicious and very healthy.

  7. We like to make syrup (or jelly, if it sets up) out of elderberries. :) Lovely photos, Alana.


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