Archive for September 27th, 2011


With autumn, the lush greens of summer give way to a new palette of golds and oranges and yellows, and here and there, a touch of scarlet. The brilliant reds are reserved for just a few trees and vines, burning accents that glow brightly against the hedgerows and forests. Some of the crimson highlights are provided by maple trees.


Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is another notable red. Some vines turn a deep wine or burgundy, but others achieve a blazing fire engine red.


This prolific native vine can be seen clambering up telephone poles and trees and gambolling along fence lines. Its blue-black berries are an important winter food source for birds.


Among the most conspicuous splashes of red are provided by stands of Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina), a small native tree or shrub that spreads aggressively by rhizomes to form large clonal colonies.


The clusters of fuzzy bright red berries persist well into the winter, when they are likewise an important food source for wildlife.


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