Saturday, December 4, 2010

Name That Bush

One thing we learned after we bought our house in Chicago: don't yank anything out of the ground until you see the flowers! Thinking that dozens of plants with coarse leaves were just weeds, we pulled as many of them out as we could. Happily, we missed some; in early summer we discovered some unexpected, pretty blooms gracing a coarse-leaved plant which turned out to be a generously hearty campanula.

I don't know what these bushes are, but I do know that they have nothing to fear.
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  1. It looks like a Barberry (berberis thunbergii). Given the fruit and the thorns. They're used often in Chiago landscapes. If it is a barberry it will have smallish green or purple leaves. It does get a flower but it's small and orangeish (not very showy as it flowers at the same time it leafs out and the flowers are held close to the stem so they get hidden). It can be an ok plant. They're often used to add structure and color (purple or bright green) to a landscape. Of course, that's all I this plant is a barberry. They can be cut back if you want to keep it but feel it's too big.

  2. Wow, thanks, Steven! My dad also told me they were barberry, but he didn't give me all THAT info! =)

    I notice that there are quite a few of them on the property, but the previous owner really liked his yard full of plants. Unfortunately, he left us quite a bit of sumac and cactus to get rid of. Blech.