• New discoveries, new joys

    by  • September 20, 2010 • Fall

    Oh, red berries, redberries!
    Surprise in the wilderness…
    ….A forest’s exclamation mark
    Berries, red berries.
    By Robin Hyde, 1930
    Rhamnus ilicifolia Hollyleaf Redberry

    Rhamnus ilicifolia Hollyleaf Redberry

    While washing off the plants in the natural island of oaks and bear clover between the old and new driveways, I spotted a bit of red through the manzanita bushes. Investigating, they were bright shiny red berries on a small spindly tree growing up through searching for light. The leaves looked like our mountain mahogany to me, not quite, so I grabbed the camera, took the photo and started researching on CalPhoto.

    Turns out it is a Hollyleaf Redberry Rhamnus ilicifolia, a plant new to me!  A new native plant right here on our place.  Cool.  Considered a slow growing understory shrub, a Redberry is related to a coffeeberry, usually 3-9 feet tall and it looks just like an oak. Now I’ll prune a bit around it to give it a bit more space to grow.

    Three more plants with Autumn interest:

    Mountain Mahogany Cercocarpus betuloides

    Mountain Mahogany Cercocarpus betuloides

    Hall's Mule's Ears, husk, Wyethia elata.

    Hall’s Mule’s Ears, husk, Wyethia elata

    Goldenfleece  Ericameria arborescens

    Goldenfleece Ericameria arborescens


    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.