Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Name Of This Plant Is...

After my run in with the evil soul sucking tadpole fish aliens, I crossed the bridge and decided to do one of the things I came to Woodland Hills to do today. I decided a long time ago to get more pictures of the plants in these pictures. I still had not properly identified this plant, and I wanted to see the changes it went through since last time I was here.

In a post a while back, I completely misidentified this plant. Well, almost completely; that other type of plant looks a lot like this one. I won't link to that post here, but if you look around the site, you should find it in short order. Can you tell I'm being a little evasive about it? Hey, mistakes are hard things to swallow. Even so, I never said I was a plant expert yet.

It took me so long to make a new post about it, because I wanted to be reasonably sure that I was right. I'm reasonably sure now. I think I know what type of plant this is. I checked and checked some more. Now, I'm pretty confident that I know what it is. It is nice looking, isn't it?

...Oh, did you want to know what it is too? Sorry, I get sidetracked sometimes. I'll go off in a different direction and completely forget what I was talking about. Wait a minute, there I go again. Okay, I know; enough messing with you. Here it is.

This plant is Gray Dogwood. The first thing that attracted me to it was the white berries. As I looked closer, I saw the almost blood red stems. There are several plants with these, and several types of Dogwood. If you look closely and compare, you can see that the Gray Dogwood is the one here. You can also see here that the leaves have a reddish tint. They change to this red color in the fall. All throughout the summer, the leaves are green.

The berries are a good food source for birds. I've read that they are edible for humans, but they have a bad taste. Even so, I wouldn't risk eating them, because there are similar looking plants that are poisonous and deadly. When birds eat them, it leaves the red stems bare. This gives the plants an even redder look in the fall. I think the red stems look eerily like blood vessels. These red stems can last well into winter, and maintain their color. The plants are dense shrubs that can sometimes grow as big as trees. Some people use these as a nice natural barrier, instead of a fence, because they grow so easily. So, there you go, Gray Dogwood. It took me some time, but I did figure it out.

Well, it was a nice break I was having on the nature trail. I keep saying that one of the good thing's in this place is the quiet solitude. I was getting some fantastic pictures, and I also had the seeds of this story in my head. I'd say it was a good part of another excellent everyday adventure.

But as I was taking pictures of these Gray Dogwood shrubs, I was startled by a voice...

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