Saturday, October 28, 2017

Autumn Leaves

Biodiversity
Aesthetics
Edward Hessler

Redbud hazel or scientifically, Disanthus cercidifolius is one of the glories of fall.  Alas, it is limited in range to China, Japan and a few botanic gardens.

Redbud hazel has been featured twice on Botany Photo of the Day (BPOD), October 22, 2005 and  October 25, 2017. There are few colors that the leaves of this plant miss in fall.

It may be seen here where you will find a link to BPOD's image posted 12 years ago. Be sure to scroll down to see two other photographs, one by Dominic Janus who took the picture (it is linked in his response, the second) and the other is included in a viewer response.

One of the responses mentions Sassafrass albidum as a contender in the color sweepstakes. So, I had to check it out. Wouldn't you love to be among them, looking up, looking down, and looking long?

But if I had to choose between just these two, I'd pick redbud hazel.

Whattaya' think?

P.S.  Redbud hazel is a member of the  witch hazel (Hamamelidaceae) family.  Members of the family are known in the U.S. as witch hazels (the name comes from their use in "witching" for water, finding water through the use of a forked branch of this small tree/shrub).  When it dips toward ground there is supposed to be water below.  I thought you might be interested in seeing some fall images of the leaves of witch hazel. They, too, will dazzle your eyes.  Eastern witch hazels bloom close to year around in some locations. I like the leaf venation and you will find a few examples in this article from Arnoldia. Hey, this has become more than you want to know!


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