Friday, 24 August 2012

Something good about the Snowberry

Just the briefest of postings to make up for my Almost nothing good to say about the snowberry post from earlier this year. It's not that I've got a lot more to say, but I have two photographs that show that it is rather pretty when you see the flowers and leaves, and not just the polystyrene like blobs on sticks.

(I'll do a proper post this evening, on Prague's botanic garden and more...)


Jarrett Walker said...

Thank you for overcoming your prejudice against the Symphoricarpos. When I moved back to Portland, Oregon after living in Sydney for five years (and spending thousands of hours in the three RBGs) I found I had lost my taste for the deciduous and wanted to create an illusory evergreen world that would help me deny the cruelty of seasons. (Portland's climate is about like Hobart's so there are plenty of evergreen options.)

Yet S. albus (native in our rainforests) charmed me with its striking winter look -- nicely contrasting with the all the evergreen red-berried options -- and its importance to winter birds. The fleeting pink flower is actually a typical N American temperate rainforest character. My conjecture is that our glorious rainforest flowers are mostly small, subtle pleasures because they're attracting eyes from relatively nearby -- since you can't see very far in a rainforest anyway.

Tim Entwisle said...

Nice comments Jarrett. My original prejudice had as much to do with them growing in a desolate part of town, strewn with rubbish, I think. Now that I have experienced Symphoricarpos in more than one season I can see the appeal. It would different again to see them in their native environment, particularly where their berries are important for the winter birds. Your size of flower argument in rainforest could work either way - alternatively you might need something big and dramatic among so much green and darkness - but it may be true that it's better to not waste energy of big flowers. Presumably it depends on the pollinators and what attracts them. Tim