A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
March 15, 2001 

Page 7: Wild Garlic & Blackberries

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

The Rose Family (Rosaceae) is a large one. Much larger than we tend to think, as a poet once put it:

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But the theory now goes
That the apple’s a rose,
And the pear is, and so’s
The plum, I suppose
. . . What will next prove a rose(?)

Robert Frost, "The Rose Family"

Well, for one, the blackberry. And the raspberry, and dewberry, and so on. And, for the person who desires to pin a species name on one of these, the task is somewhat complicated. Many members of this family freely hybridize. Which is why there are so many wonderful roses in the seed catalog. In Fern Bluff Park, in the northwest sector, are found a number of bristly plants (see below) that look to be blackberry vines. No, these are not poison ivy, even though they have three leaves (poison ivy stems are smooth, these are covered with sharp thorns). We will watch these develop, and may even narrow their identity down a little, especially if we are fortunate enough to see their fruit.

The pretty, delicate pink flowers at left are from an umbel of a wild garlic (Allium drummondii) plant. It was found in the northeast sector of the park, in a clearing near the park boundary. You will probably smell it before it comes into view, as the fragrance of garlic is fairly strong in that area.

An umbel is a type of flower cluster which has every flower originating at a common point on the upper extremity of the plant stem. Wild garlic umbels are enclosed in a membranous spathe (see the photo below) before the flowers open. This spathe separates into 2 or 3 long, narrow bracts when the umbel bursts into the open.

Go to Page 8

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

 


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