|Strawberry Bush or Hearts-a-Bustn' (Euonymus americanus)|
There are four trees and shrubs blooming at Ijams that can be somewhat hard to find. They are all native to the mountains or Southeast but they often occur in isolated locations, in small numbers. Unlike the maples, oaks, hickories and pines, these are generally loners.
Kentucky Yellowwood alone is worth a trip to the nature center, because finding it in the Smokies or foothills can be difficult. It's a favorite among dendrologists, i.e. tree and shrub aficionados.
And hearts-a-bustin' rarely gets a second glance when it blooms, but its red-magenta seed pods that ripen in the fall are eye-catchers because of their explosive color.
If you add maple-leaf viburnum and Virginia fringetree you get a pleasant treasure hunt at the nature center.
- Story and photos by Stephen Lyn Bales. Thanks, Peg.
|Virginia or White Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)|
|Maple-leaf Viburnum or Dockmackie (Viburnum acerifolium)|
|Kentucky or American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea)|