Category Archives: Interesting Plants

Weekly Puzzler Answer #139

Did you recognize the nuts from last week’s puzzler? They are black walnuts from the black walnut tree, Juglans nigra.

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Black walnut trees can grow up to 150 feet tall and are native to the eastern and central United States. The bark of a black walnut tree is blackish to dark gray with deep furrows. The leaf is a compound leaf that can be 18 inches long.

nuts33-6142An interesting fact about black walnut trees is that they produce this toxic substance called juglone in its roots and leaves that can kill other vegetation growing nearby. Thus, sometimes you might see black walnut trees growing all alone in the middle of a field. Some plants, such as morning glory, rose of Sharon, pansies, black raspberries, plums and squash,  are immune to this toxin and can still prosper there.

Here is the next puzzler! And this is your LAST CHANCE to be entered in the quarterly drawing as I have decided I want to give away my holiday DVD to the winner and want to send this out before the 25th, thus, not waiting until the 21st to pull the winner. If you want to be entered in the drawing, use the comment box below. All correct responses will be eligible. Good luck!

And have a fabulous weekend!!

Weekly Puzzler #139:Tangerine-Sized Nuts

Hey all! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are enjoying the weekend. Is the weather nice where you live?

Rather than spend Black Friday in the stores shopping, my family went to the woods to enjoy a hike to a beautiful spot overlooking the mountains. Ahhh, it was so much quieter than the stores!

Check out this photo of these large nuts. Have you noticed this year’s bumper crop of NUTS? The squirrels and other animals who eat them are going to be in Heaven! So many! Have you seen any like this in piles where you’ve been hiking?

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Do you know what they are? I wish it was possible to convey the smell through the internet. Have you ever picked one up and given it a whiff? Oh, I love the smell of these!

Check back next weekend to see if you are correct. And don’t forget to add your guess in the comment box below–chances to qualify for this quarter’s drawing are running out! A winner will be chosen on the first day of winter, just a few weeks away. Good luck!

See you again soon.

Weekly Puzzler Answer #138

m3-6725Were you one of the people who knew the answer to last week’s puzzler? The beautiful low growing plant with bright red berries?

It is Cornus canadensis –Commonly known as Bunchberry, Bunchberry Dogwood, Dwarf Dogwood, Canadian Bunchberry, Dwarf Cornel, or Creeping Dogwood.

In the spring and summer it has lovely white flowers which resemble those on our flowering dogwood trees, hence the name of Bunchberry Dogwood. You can see a photo of these flowers here.

Here is the next puzzler!

See you again soon.

Weekly Puzzler Answer #137

rowan-0013Did you recognize the stalk with bright red berries from last week’s puzzler? These are the berries from a plant called Jack in the Pulpit, or Arisaema triphyllum. Have you seen it? It looks like this:

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This plant has the rare ability to change its sex based on the area where it grows. It may live for 20 years and can change again and again and again. When it has the right nutrients and moisture and has reached a sufficient size to provide resources to support a flower and fruit, it will be female. When it lacks nutrients, it reverts to a male plant. A jack that makes male flowers has only one main leaf whereas a female has two.

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Since it has only one leaf, it is a male.

Check out one more puzzler with RED berries.

Weekly Puzzler #138: More RED Berries!

So since we’re on a role of seeing RED, let’s do one more. Check out this plant, which, by the way, grows throughout most of Canada, Alaska and the northern United States, south in the mountain regions, to Virginia in the east and to New Mexico in the west.

Have you ever seen it on a hike? Isn’t it beautiful in the fall with its bright red berries? Do you know what it is?

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If so, add your guess to the comment box below for your chance to win the next give-away–a drawing on the first day of winter. All correct responses will be entered.

See you again soon.

Weekly Puzzler #137: Tight Red Cluster of Berries

This week’s puzzler features another plant with bright red berries, though these are much closer to the ground, on a plant rather than a tree. Have you ever seen these while out walking in the woods? Do you know what plant they are from?

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As always, if you want to guess, feel free–just use the comment box below the post. I’d love to hear from you and remember, all correct guesses will be entered to win a free prize. I give away a prize 4 times each year–on the first day of winter, spring, summer and fall. December seems like a long way off, but really, it’s just around the corner! Some prizes have been a sampler pack of my greeting cards as well as a blank notebook. 

Have a great weekend! See you again soon.

Weekly Puzzler Answer #136

Did you recognize this lovely tree bursting with vivid red berries from last week’s puzzler?

art3-5It is Mountain Ash or Rowan, also called Quickbeam, Rowan Tree, Rowanberry, and, Witchwood, (Sorbus aucuparia.) It is not related to our Common Ash tree.

Rowan is a shrub that grows up to 50 feet tall, at elevations usually above 6500 feet, including in North America, Northern Europe and South Western Asia. Here in western North Carolina, you can find them along the Blue Ridge Parkway–at Black Balsam Knob, Mount Rogers, Craggy Gardens and at Pisgah. They are quite stunning when you see an entire mountainside covered with them!

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Those bright red berries? They are rich in Vitamins A and C and many animals eat them, including 60 species of birds as well as some mammals including fox and squirrels. In some parts of the world, the berries are collected and made into jams and jellies that go well with wild game. When raw, the berries contain parasorbic acid which turns into sorbic acid when cooked. A frost is said to make them less bitter. rowan-8594

Want to see another plant that produces bright RED berries? Here’s the next puzzler.