Fabulous Fall Fruits
Botanic name: Berberis koreana
Common name: Korean barberry
This Korean native is truly an all-season shrub. It has a rounded shape that gets from 4’ -6’ high. This fall, you can expect to see it comfortable stationed near the upper garden, adorned with clusters of egg-shaped berries, while the alternate elliptical leaves move from green to a dramatic purple or maroon.
Botanic name: Camellia japonica
Common name: Japanese camellia
This shrub, though known for its waxy deep green leaves used for tea, and elaborately petaled flowers in the spring, generates a seed pod in autumn. The pod has up to five divisions within, encapsulating up to eight seeds each. Tea oil is extracted from the seeds and in Asian countries is popular as a sweet seasoning, for use in the care of knife blades, and in Japan, especially, as a traditional hair care treatment. Here at Leach Garden, we the seed pods are one element of the Autumn show. You can find camellia throughout the hilly area between the upper and lower gardens.
Botanic name: Gaultheria procumbens
Common name: American wintergreen
Near the Manor House driveway there is a 6” tall shrublet with dark green simple leaves. the leaves do remain green throughout the winter, thus leading to the common name of the plant. This time of year it has shy red berry-like fruit that splits open when ripe. It is native to North America, and while it is not widely dined upon by wildlife, it has been used over the centuries. The leaves and berries are edible, though it is not advisable to eat very much of it as it takes very little wintergreen oil to poison a human.
Botanic name: Vaccinium macrocarpon
Common name: Cranberry
As you wander the perimeter of the Manor House drive, look for a bush vine about a foot tall (though appears taller as it is placed on a slope) adorned with red or pink berries. This naturalized plant will grow from 3-4’ across, and the simple oblong leaves growing one per node on the stem. The berries are indeed the familiar cranberry, the flesh completely tart, and seeds few and small.