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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Interesting Wildflower

It seems that whenever a lovely plant in one of our NYC parks catches my eye, it ends up to be an invasive species. I shouldn't like it - BAD PLANT! Somehow, I usually still do. I had all but given up on finding a new, beautiful NATIVE plant in my local park when I stumbled on this gem. It was a gloomy, overcast day in Prospect Park and I was walking up the Ravine path that leads from Center Drive to the Fallkill Falls. Out of the corner of my eye, I spied several brilliant exclamation points in the dark woodland understory. I wondered how I'd ever managed to overlook this plant. The fruit's spiky outer husk reminded me of lychee nuts. The combination of fuchsia and orange dangling from delicate green stems was eye-popping. I grabbed my camera and took a few photos. Thumbing through my plant guides at home didn't turn anything up so I typed into Google's search window, "plant with spiky pink and orange fruit". It was too easy as a match showed up in the first line of images - Euonymus americanus. This native plant is also known as American Strawberry-bush. Another common name, which I prefer, is "Hearts-a-burstin". How about "Eyes-a-poppin'"?

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