We have this beautiful old Farkleberry tree which is about 15′ tall, that as drought tolerant as they are reported to be, I think has finally succumbed to our prolonged dry conditions. The picture here is during “better times”. I sincerely hope it recovers.
The native Farkleberry, Sparkleberry Vaccinium arboretum, is another really great addition to our environment. It offers something neat for every season. An understory, deciduous plant, this perennial is mostly found as a large shrub, but as you can see, under the right conditions can grow upwards to 25′ with a spread to match.
In the spring it has white flowers that resemble little bells, that ripen to dark blue berries in the fall, along with beautiful red fall foliage. In the winter, the twisted exfoliating bark is striking colors of red and gray.
It attracts pollinators, Bobwhite Quail, American Robins and small mammals.
We planted this wonderful native down on our dry weather creek for bank stability. This plant likes/needs wet feet, and is perfect for the task. This is the Buttonbush Cephalanthus occidentalis. It can grow to 18′ tall and 10′ wide in full sun. The blossom looks like a button, as you can see and attracts all the pollinators; look for butterflies, bees and hummingbirds to come to it once established. It is particularly favored by our native bees. The plant is deciduous, but in my experience, some stems freeze back to the ground. The plant recovers each year to bloom in the summer. I found that used in a pond environment, any submerged portion will provide habitat for amphibians, reptiles, ducks, and fish. Some 25 species of birds eat the seeds. A native worth planting by our creeks and ponds.
This picture shows the “button” later in the season, about to go to seed.