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Clintonia Fruiting

8-2-17 bluebead 049A1593

The yellow, bell-like flowers of Clintonia (Clintonia borealis) that were fertilized earlier in the summer are now developing into the blue berries from which their other common name, Yellow Blue-bead Lily, was derived. Transitioning from green to white, and ultimately to a deep porcelain blue, the berries of Clintonia are beautiful to gaze upon, but are said to be unpleasant-tasting and mildly toxic.


9 responses

  1. Alice Pratt

    What a gorgeous color blue.

    August 2, 2017 at 9:15 am

  2. Dorian

    Oooh! Very pretty Clintonia! Speaking of robust plants, do you care to comment on what seems to me to be a real increase in the amount of poison ivy around the ADKs? Am I just more aware because I got a dose of it from the dog in June, or is there indeed more of it around? Maybe our warm winters & wet springs? Global warming? Thanks for everything you do—we love your website!

    August 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

    • I’m afraid I don’t know what “ADK’s are! Poison Ivy LOVES heat so global warming is its friend…

      August 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

  3. I love this flower, here in Northumberland County, Ontario Canada, I know of one place where it grows. In a near virgin forest called Peter’s Woods and the Clintonia is growing on an old decayed pine log, it likes a little acid in the soil. It is growing in a wide long band where the log fell and decayed. A bird must have dropped a seed in the right place. I shall go and look for those beautiful blue beads this weekend. Thanks!

    August 2, 2017 at 3:06 pm

  4. fiftiesfollies

    Hi Mary, This is actually a question. I have a photo I’d like to send you to see if you know what it is but don’t know how to attach it to this reply as it is on my phone. It is a little vase/jug like thing I recently saw on a leaf of a bush. It looks like it is made out of mud and is bumpy and round with a little neck with a whole at the top. It is about 1/2″ wide at the most. Is there an address I could send it to or would you rather not do that? I tried to send it from my photo album but this address didn’t come up. I’m very curious and am not sure how to go about looking it up. I’ve been enjoying your posts for a while now and thank you! Lisa Daudon

    Sent from my iPhone


    August 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    • Hi Lisa,
      What you describe so perfectly sounds like it must be a potter wasp’s “pot.” The female fashions a pot out of mud, stuffs it full of insects/spiders, lays an egg and then seals it up. The wasp egg hatches and the wasp larva feeds on the insects/spiders ( which are paralyzed but not dead, so they won’t decompose) and then chews it’s way out after pupating and emerging as an adult wasp. The opening at the top of the “vase” means she’s either still bringing prey and hasn’t laid an egg yet or the adult wasp has eaten her way out. If it’s a nice clean hole it’s probably the former. If you have a copy of my children’s book “Milkweed Visit is” there’s a full page photo of a wasp and her pot! One of my favorite things to find!

      August 3, 2017 at 2:21 pm

  5. Mary Sloat

    I was interested in the comment mildly toxic as I had always been told they are poisonous. The plant grows profusely throughout the White Mountains.

    August 2, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    • Mike Levine

      According to a number of resources the leaves of the young plant are edible when a few inches long in the spring… the ‘beads’ are said to be bad tasting and mildly toxic

      August 3, 2017 at 11:00 am

  6. Cheron barton

    Have you seen these? I have seen them across the street from Ed’s & on the right side of old post road before you reach Cheney!! Will surely look more closely now👍🏼 🌻 Cheron

    Sent from my iPhone


    August 3, 2017 at 7:14 am

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