Wednesday, December 21, 2011
outdoors these red berries, which cling tenaciously to their branches long into winter, are little spots of festive cheer, shiny ornamental clusters in an otherwise dull gray and brown landscape.
moose, deer, rabbits, other small mammals, and birds eat winterberry. also known as fever bush, the plant was used for its medicinal properties by native americans. the berries are (supposedly) slightly toxic to humans, but if they're harvested after the first frost their toxicity is reduced (supposedly).
i placed some of the winterberry stems i got in a vase. i also made a centerpiece for the dining table with short and long needled pine and winterberry. jeez louise, i really hope no one is poisoned by my holiday decorations—everyone will just have to be on the lookout for any stray berries which may have fallen onto their plates!