Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Autumnberry

So it's winterberry season already! Saw this at Tyler Arboretum the other day. I've had no luck with winterberry - I think because the male and female need to be within about 40 feet of each other and I've inadvertently kept mine in solitary.

Autumnberry

So it's winterberry season already! Saw this at Tyler Arboretum the other day. I've had no luck with winterberry - I think because the male and female need to be within about 40 feet of each other and I've inadvertently kept mine in solitary.

But what a gorgeous plant. Useful, too. It feeds almost 50 different bird species in winter and apparently in fall, too.

It's poisonous to humans, which I doubt is much of an issue. I don't know too many people out there foraging for winterberries, but when the sky falls, who knows.

Meanwhile, the birds are happy. Since I interviewed Pat Sutton, the Cape May County naturalist, this has moved up on my list of things to think about.

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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