Fruiting Accelerates

by Carl Strang

A few berries and other fruits attracted the attention of birds and mammals earlier in the season, for instance those of the black raspberry.

Black raspberries b

But autumn is the time when the greatest diversity of fruits can be found. Many plants ripen their fruits to coincide with the fall migration season, when traveling birds are happy to fuel themselves on fruits and, subsequently, spread the seeds around. I have been recording ripening dates of fruits at Mayslake Forest Preserve. Some, like the bittersweet nightshade, are not native to the area.

Solanum dulcamara fruit b

Others, like elderberry, long have been part of the local scene.

Elderberry fruit b

Additional fruits to this point in the season have been those of pokeweed,

Pokeweed fruit b

smooth Solomon’s seal,

Smooth Solomon's seal fruit b

and staghorn sumac.

Staghorn sumac b

There will be more to report as autumn proceeds. I should note as a reminder that though these fruits attract birds, some are poisonous to us.

1 Comment

  1. October 22, 2009 at 7:15 am

    […] I featured several plants at Mayslake Forest Preserve that produce fruits timed to coincide with the fall migration of […]

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