Perennial “Berries”

At the time of writing this blog, I’m dozing off so my verbiage will be mercifully brief for you loyal readers.  This morning, Big John and I hauled up all our booth supplies for the Wisconsin Public Television Garden Expo ( which begins tomorrow afternoon and extends throughout the weekend with vendors, demonstrations and seminars.  It truly is a great event and we went up early to get the booth set up and avoided the craziness of the other 80% of the show participants doing this same process on Friday.  Larry and Bill had done a great job loading everything up in the trailer and we had perfect travelling conditions.  This morning I saw Marv, Dr. Gredler, Bob K., Ron Y., Dave, Vern, Jim and some others at the Horticulture Center working on a wide range of projects before I left.  I’m sure I missed seeing some others.  I got back after lunch with John and had a meeting with Mirjam and Marcia regarding the English cottage garden which they maintain very nicely as assigned garden volunteers. We have a solid plan of attack for 2015.  I’m sure it was a productive day at the gardens although I’ll be at the Garden Expo pretty solidly for the next three days with time in the booth and five presentations.
The blog images here show the beauty of the fruiting structures of some of our perennials like white doll’s eyes or white baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) seen above and below with white fruits.  Research these for their best habitats and preferred conditions for optimum growth.  I’m not sure that all of these fruits are considered “berries” but few would argue their ornamental value.  Be wary that some of these selections can spread a bit (reseeding), particularly in warmer climates and two or more of these are also poisonous!  We are all aware of ornamental fruits on our trees and shrubs but we tend to be unaware of the beauty that some of our perennials can provide with these colorful fruits which may be the primary ornamental contribution!
white baneberry (Actaea pachypoda)


Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) – above and below
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) poking up amongst ‘Jack Frost’ false forget-me-not (Brunnera macrophylla)
blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) – flowers above – fruits below




blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides) – fruits above, earlier foliage below
Italian arum (Arum italicum)
Italian arum foliage (Arum italicum)