Saturday, April 15, 2006
Who's Your Daddy?
Originally uploaded by urtica.
Came across some odd-looking Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) on a walk the other day...
- Whorls of leaves with entire (smooth) margins [check]
- Single thorn in leaf axil [check]
- Sessile umbels of flowers and fruits...wha?
Looking at the stalks from last season's fruits, I noticed something was different. Japanese barberry has fruits hanging from flower stalks that sprout directly from the axil where the leaves meet the stem. This plant had a single stalk that branched out into two, three, and even four substalks. Almost like common barberry, Berberis vulgaris
Almost, but not quite. Turns out this is most likely a hybrid between the two non-native barberries we see around New England, Berberis x ottawensis. See the IPANE page for more information.
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