Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Other Ellen's post last week reminds me of the value of berried plants in the fall landscape in NYC. In our winter enthusiasm to get immediate color in spring, we often give short shrift to fall interest.
Here are 5 shrubs with berry interest, planted with fall and winter in mind. Above, chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) in container on my roof garden, and below, a few clusters of the berries 'pruned' for decoration indoors. Firethorn (Pyracantha) has small white uninteresting flowers in spring but shines in autumn and throughout the winter. In small spaces, prune it as an espaliered tree in a container against a wall. Below, it appears in a built-in planter in front of a NYC townhouse.
Fall flowers/spring berries, a reverse of the usual plan.
Above, Oregon grape-holly at the Central park Zoo last Dec. 31. The flowers are followed by blue-black berries in spring, below. Note to Other Ellen: I've read that the berries are edible. True? have you tried them?If you have a larger garden, smooth sumac berries are a fall mainstay, and last all winter.
I've always coveted a Beauty Berry (Callicarpa dichotoma) for the surprising color of its fruit. Maybe 2012.


Ellen Zachos said...

Every single one of those berries is edible! Does anyone know where I can find a callicarpa (beauty berry) in the NYC area? Not to eat, I promise, I just need to take some photographs.

Ellen Spector Platt said...

Try Wave Hill. i think I was ogling some there a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

The BBG has both purple and white cultivars in its plant collections area near the new herb garden.

I can also report that my aronia melanocarpa's berries are edible, but not exactly tasty! Supposedly lots of anthocyanins, though.

Any berry looks good this time of year, great pics!

SaraGardens said...

EZ, I'm reporting a Callicarpa sighting on Vanderbilt Ave. not far from me - in a container in front of a building...

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