In late June and early July, the flowers of native and exotic shrubs dominate open areas, including forest edges, roadsides and abandoned fields that are in the early stages of woody plant colonization.
Two species in bloom now are Red-panicle or Gray-stemmed Dogwood (Cornus racemosa; peak bloom) and Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora; past peak bloom).
Gray-stemmed Dogwood is a native, thicket-forming shrub with attractive white flower clusters in early summer and white fruit on branched, red stalks in autumn. A large variety of insects are working the flowers now, and birds will devour the fruit when ripe.
Multiflora Rose is an exotic species of shrub that also has the ability to grow as a vine if adjacent woody plants provide support. Once planted for erosion control, living fences and wildlife habitat, it is now considered to be invasive. Attractive, fragrant flowers develop into clusters of small, red fruits that persists well into the winter.
Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.