Sunday, 9 August 2009

Autumn

With the sun shining again this morning, it was a sobering thought that Autumn is within touching distance. Made obvious by the abundance of berries in the hedgerows at the moment. Including these ripening, red beauties belonging to the Guelder-Rose (Viburnum opulus).
Native to Europe, Viburnums are popular shrubs and small trees in gardens everywhere. The white flowers of this shrub are fertilised by insects and develop into these fruits which are edible in small quantities, although very bitter to taste. In larger quantities however, they are toxic and can cause vomiting and diarrhea. They can be used to make jams and jellies.
The bark was used to alleviate menstrual pain and it was from that quality that it got it's pseudonym 'Cramp Bark'.
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