Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Little things in small packages

Nice little things come in small packages, but we often over look the small flowers around us because so many of our ornamental plants have been chosen and selected to have big flowers.  Here's a flowering shrub whose flowers hardly get noticed because even in axillary clusters they are a pretty small display. 
An individual flower is only 2-3 mm across.  This shrub flowers on new wood, this year's growth, and sequentially from bottom to top of the branch.  Long time readers have actually seen this before because TPP featured it way back in 2008, but in October when it's fruit display was at peak attractiveness, and long after it had flowered.  With summer flowering generally diminished by the drought, these flowers were getting plenty of attention from insects.  Fruit eating migratory birds like these shade tolerant shrubs' fruits a lot.  In the tropics you see more bright blue-purple fruit colors than in the temperate zone.  By now you've probably figured out or check the link to discover this is an azure beauty berry (Callicarpa dichotoma).

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