As promised, this will be the first true “what is that!” posts (versus “ooh look at that!, I wonder what it is?”). I’ve decided to hijack Ryan’s website a bit more than I already have while he’s gone…. (muahahahahaaaaahaaaaaa!) and add another category for blog posts… “Ongoing”. If I understand things correctly, I can use multiple categories, and I think I’ve done so many times already, and it worked. This new category, when applied, means that I (or we) have plans to periodically (although maybe not regularly) update this particular post page thingy…instead of adding new material to a new post.
This means I can put up information on say, in this case, a plant I’m pretty sure I’ve ID’d as a “Blackhaw Viburnum” and post pictures etc. of it starting now. And then in the future, as, for example, the fruit ripens, or the leaves change color, if I get a chance to take pictures of it, I can put them here, so instead of having to hunt back through previous posts (which nobody would really want to do) to see what it used to look like, or from a different angle, or what I might have seen in a different location, it’s all here in this one place. I’m hoping to go back and see if I can collect Jezza’s pictures for something like this, too, because the cutie sure did grow quickly!
Anyway, on with the show! I think this shrubbby little tree-let is Blackhaw Viburnum (and I put the ? in the title because I’m pretty sure but not completely sure yet… sure enough to give it a page, but I’d rather not let you say bet your house on it yet…but I find a different ID for it I’ll update this whole thing). It’s scientific name is Viburnum prunifolium (as a heads up, generally, scientific names are either underlined (especially if you’re writing by hand, italics by hand is tricksy!) or italicized to make it more obvious you’re using a specific scientific name for a specific species, and not for example, a general or whatever name, or …. well, blabbering made up words).
Also to note, there are a few relatives of this plant which might also be called “Blackhaw.” I’m more used to calling one of them “Nannyberry” and we had it when I worked at Seney National Wildlife Refuge. I’m glad I learned Nannyberry up there, because this shrubby tree kept pinging “Nannyberry…almost” in my mind, so it made it easier to figure out what this one was. That’s another reason I like to know what things are… so I can…well, use that knowledge as a launching pad for more knowledge… which is a cyclical argument but whatever. Nannyberry just looks a tad different…and I admit, I probably wouldn’t recognize either them or Blackhaw Viburnum without the fruits unless I got to practicing a lot more. And speaking of Blackhaw, there’s also a more southern relative called (among a lot of other names, some including variants of Nannyberry…) “Rusy Blackhaw” which I’m pretty sure doesn’t get this far north, and also seems to look a bit different in the pictures I’ve compared mine to. And with all this name overlap, that’s where scientific names come in handy, even if they’re sometimes harder to say.
Before I’m super sure of ID, I’d like to see what color the leaves and fruit turn at the end of the year. I always meant to get pictures of the flowers, but I don’t think I did with any surety of which plant I took the pictures from… well, there’s always next spring.
So the above set are from July 24, 2017, but posted 8-16 ’cause I’m waay behind. I keep thinking those fruits will change colors but as of today (8-16, SPOILER ALERT) I they seem just about as green as they have been for a long time. Supposedly, they’re edible so I’m hoping to try a nibble when they seem ripe.
And happily, for me anyway, it’s native!
Some of the resources I used, in no particular order (and remember, I might have used a resource to rule out a particular plant identity instead of finding more information on it):
missouribotanicalgarden.org ‘s plantfinder function
wildflower.org (I really like this place, the native plant guide is great, and I’d like to visit their grounds if I ever get close to them, it’s the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center)