Thursday, May 7, 2009

Southern Dewberry (Rubus trivialis)

In February or March, small five-petaled white flowers twinkle like stars along spiny dewberry vines. Among those appreciating the blooms are juniper hairstreak butterflies. Juniper hairstreaks are early fliers, emerging some years in February.

It's true that most folks think of dewberry as a nuisance, not a wildflower. Left to its own devices, southern dewberry brambles thickly at woodland's edge, snagging the unwary walker.

But it holds the ground down. And later in spring, cardinals, tanagers, raccoons and foxes appreciate the berries.

There is room in our woods for a plant that feeds so many.

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