Yum yum! Nice ripe tomatoes. ...Uh, wait. Just kidding! These plants look kind of like tomatoes here, but that is very far from the truth. They are much smaller than a tomato and I don't think they're very edible. They are actually berries. As you may have guessed by the title of the story, this plant is called Winterberry.
I have wanted to write a story on this plant for over a year, but until now I haven't known what it was called. If you think I'm still mistaken just let me know what it is. Once I began taking pictures of my adventures I quickly noticed a few types of plants, like these, that stood out among all the rest. I always stop and look at them.
These plants are scattered around many of the nature preserves I like to travel. These particular pictures have been waiting for about a month in my ready area so I could write about them. I just wanted to give you at least a little bit of information about them before I presented them for all to see.
These winterberry shrubs are also known as Michigan Holly. That's for a very good reason. They're a member of the holly family. They're not an evergreen like other holly plants though. As soon as it begins to get cold the green leaves will turn yellow or black and eventually fall off the shrub. The berries remain though, which is why they are called winterberry.
In the places I go these plants are most likely strategically placed to attract birds. And they do that very well. That is one of the first things I noticed when I saw these plants. The birds seem to love eating these berries very much. That makes two benefits to looking at these beautiful plants.
Identifying this plant has been a particular triumph for me. Like I said before, I have been wondering about them for over a year now. It seems the deeper I travel into the world of nature the more I learn. I knew virtually nothing about what I saw when I began, but now I can identify so many different things.
The great thing about this ongoing discovery of nature is that I am still just beginning. There is so much more for me to learn, but I now could teach people so much that they never dreamed of. Who knows? One day I could take people on tours through these places, and teach them about many of the wonderful things along the way.
But I guess that's a dream for another day. Today I'm just happy that I have learned about my old friend, the plant called winterberry.