|Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) – a North American native shrub – with glossy black pomes and bright fall foliage|
First, to confess. These fruits are highly decorative in the fall garden, but none of them are berries. As botanically defined, berries are fleshy fruits and seeds produced from a single ovary. Currants, blueberries and gooseberries are berries. But so is a tomato – or a watermelon, banana or avocado.
Instead, some of these are pomes – structured like apples. Some are drupes – or pitted fruits like plums. And one is really a decorative capsule containing arils – a seed with its own fleshy coating, like a pomegranate or yew. But you know what I mean by this shorthand term, don’t you?
No matter what you call them, these berry, berry extraordinary fruits can be wonderful additions to your plant list. Which are your favourite “berries” for the fall garden?
|This hot-pink cloud of unopened capsules of Asian spindle tree (Euonymus sachalinensis) soon will dangle with red arils|
|But this coralberry hybrid, with the triple-barreled moniker Symphoricarpos x doorembosii ‘Magic Berry’, combines both heavily bearing red-pink fruits and upright form. A good one to look out for, though a little fussier than the species.|
|While somewhat hidden till the leaves drop – the leaves all those candles are perfumed with – bayberry (Myrica pennsylvanica) has the advantage of waxy blue-grey fruits (drupes) that persist on the branches through winter.|
All photographs taken at the Toronto Botanical Garden in November 2013, Canadian Z6, USDA Z5.