Category Archives: Berries, Nuts, Seeds, Pods, & Other Fruits

Evaporated milkweed

I think this is the dried pod of some type of milkweed plant (genus Asclepias). On one hand, it resembles an innocent bit of paisley tear-drop design; on the other, it has the more menacing air of a raised curved … Continue reading

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Chicky wicket

A couple of Black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) — or perhaps Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) — were in the branches of a sweetgum tree, pecking into the craggy fruits for food. Sometimes they stood at the end of a small branch, … Continue reading

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Forest brain trust

Along a newer path loop that sits off by itself on the outskirts of the library field, eerily brain-like Osage oranges (Maclura pomifera) were scattered about like a small party of alien invaders. Although they looked as though they might … Continue reading

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Stickball figure

Looking like a verdant medieval flail for squirrel-sized knights, this spiky seed pod from a Sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) was lying just down the path & across the creek from the persimmon.

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Pucker up

About the size of a cherry tomato, this Common persimmon (Diospyrus virginiana) was nestled among the leaf litter along the path between the park and the library. Falling from what seems like an inordinately high canopy (guessing 50-60 feet up), … Continue reading

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Halloween fireballs

Sheathed in yellow casings, the bright orange berries of this Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) emerge to form mini pumpkin patches to decorate the autumn woods. This vine was growing along the edge of Deep Cut Gardens in Middletown, NJ.

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Fruit askew

Although these small crabapples look like they’re being blown by a light breeze, they’re actually just growing out at a bit of a slant. These fruits of a Sargent crabapple (Malus sargentii) aren’t much bigger than the plastic pieces from … Continue reading

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Red velvet coral

We found another kind of sumac, this time Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), growing along the southern edge of the park. The sumptuous crimson fruit cones are reminiscent of soft sea coral.

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Fuchsiarama

This stem of American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) has been almost picked clean of its shiny black berries. With its almost unnatural color and uniformly sprouting pedicels, it looks like the plastic remains of a kit with the model pieces already … Continue reading

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Botanical Candy Land

Not really sweets at all, these bright orange berries on a small Verbanica magnolia tree (Magnolia x soulangiana ‘Verbanica’) certainly look enough like candy-coated confections of one brand or another. Freshly popped from their casings, they may be tasty tidbits … Continue reading

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