Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

A more diffuse possumhaw

with 12 comments

Possumhaw with Fruit by Boulder in Woods 0537A

Click for greater clarity and larger size.

On the cold morning of January 24th, with a shallow carpet of ice pellets on the ground in some places, I went to Great Hills Park, where I photographed this possumhaw, Ilex decidua. Its fruit is less dense than the one you saw last time, but on the other hand that possumhaw was part of the landscaping along the edge of a shopping center, while this one sprang up naturally in the woods. Either way, the numerous tiny fruits of the possumhaw provide welcome brightness in the bleakest and coldest part of the year.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 22, 2014 at 6:05 AM

12 Responses

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  1. I can’t help but wonder if the location of the previous possumhaw helped it hold on to its drupes. Most of the grackles and sparrows that I see around our grocery store parking lots are more interested in bits of human food that are around – the occasional french fry, a bit of cupcake – than any natural food. Out in the woods, the relative sparseness of the fruits may be an indication of more birds feasting on them than in the city.

    In any event, the possumhaw is a beauty, as are both photos.


    February 22, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    • You’re probably right that there are more contenders for possumhaw fruits in the wild than in a developed area. To your hypothesis I’ll add another I’ve thought of: the possumhaw along the edge of the shopping center parking lot probably gets regular watering and perhaps other care, and therefore it produces dense fruit (this is the second year in row I’ve found that to be true, and before then I wasn’t aware of the tree).

      I never get tired of fruit-laden possumhaws, and in fact I photographed a couple just yesterday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

  2. it’s nice to see a specimen in a garden setting, as it’s easier to inspect and admire it. i love seeing a plant in its native setting, as thats where nature intended it to live!


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    February 22, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    • Yup, this one’s definitely in nature, complete with the boulder that you see here and the creek just below it that you don’t see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

  3. I love how it looks against the boulder~ airy and solid together.


    February 22, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    • I like the way you describe it, the airy juxtaposed with the solid. What a great difference in their densities.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 22, 2014 at 12:38 PM

  4. Let’s hear it for “…provid[ing] welcome brightness…” We all need that this winter! Thank you, Steve!


    February 22, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    • It’s been a hard winter, all right. Central Texas is finally warming up, though, and I’m beginning to see a few native wildflowers. Let’s hope the warmth spreads your way soon.

      Steve Schwartzman

      February 23, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      • Been enjoying some warm days 50s to 70s, but winter isn’t over yet, by Wed we will be sliding right back into the deep freeze! Ah well, we enjoy it when it is available, and will have forgotten all about the cold by the time the summer is sizzling with 90% humidity. 😉


        February 23, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        • Sorry for your forthcoming deep freeze; don’t think that’ll happen here again, and let’s hope I’m not wrong.

          Steve Schwartzman

          February 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM

  5. stunning


    February 23, 2014 at 7:38 PM

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