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Nannyberry Terminal Buds

Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) is a native woodland shrub in the genus Viburnum. Nanny goats apparently feed on the ripe fruit (reportedly more so than billy goats), hence the common name. It is also known as Wild Raisin due to the appearance of its dark fruit when dried. 

Like all viburnums, Nannyberry has opposite-branching leaves and flowers in umbrella-shaped clusters, called umbels. One trait that keeps it from looking like every other woodland shrub in the winter is the distinctive shape of its terminal buds. There are two scales protecting the bud, whose edges meet. Some compare the shape of this bud to the bill of a goose, but I find it far more graceful.

Grouse, robins, catbirds, cardinals, bluebirds, waxwings, grosbeaks and finches feed on Nannyberry’s clusters of blue-black berrylike drupes. Humans also consume the fruit, usually in the form of jams and jellies.

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