New foliage develops immediately after the earliest spring flowers. All six specie shown here are locally native to the San Lorenzo Valley in Santa Cruz County of California. With the exception of #4 (California) black oak, these specie are riparian specie found near the San Lorenzo River, which is the wet thing in the background behind #3 red willow. #4 (California) black oak naturally prefers drier situations a mile or so away, but happens to be in the area. #6 gooseberry is unidentified, and could have a color in the name like most of the others. #1 box elder has no color in the name, and is not related to #5 blue elderberry. Nor are #2 black cottonwood and #4 (California) black oak related to each other. #5 blue elderberry really is blue, unlike the black elderberries of eastern North America and elsewhere, which incidentally, are related to neither #2 nor #4. This is getting confusing. #3 red willow is also known by a few other names.

1. box elderP80331
2. black cottonwoodP80331+
3. red willowP80331++
4. (California) black oakP80331+++
5. blue elderberryP80331++++
6. gooseberryP80331+++++
This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:

16 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: New Leaf

      1. It does sort of make one wonder. Blue elderberries make sense because the berries are blue. duh. . . but what is so black about a black cottonwood?


  1. Names are so confusing at the best of times, especially when they include colours. There is a local authority not far from me which seems to have decided that if a tree is growing by a river and someone could stand by the tree and spit into the river (a very scientific measurement I guess) then the tree poses a danger of collapsing the riverbank and causing flooding. Now that tree could be 100 years old and it hasn’t collapsed the bank yet. Disparate groups of residents are fighting the council, and each other (which doesn’t help them as they all press for another group’s trees to be cut and theirs to be left).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. . . . and not one of them is a horticulturist. I planted poplars (like cottonwoods) to stabilize the roadway just past my home, but someone in the neighborhood insisted that they would fall over and take the road with it. Not to brag, but I am a formally educated horticulturist and arborist. I know what I am doing, and probably know more than someone who remodels kitchens for a living.


  2. That box elder photo is scrumptious! I have a gut level reaction to seeing any elderberry leaves, so many of my garden’s had self seeders push other shrubs & trees around, but the blossoms on those things are great. They’re used for cordial making here by some industrious folk. What’s blue about this elder? (Please don’t say its suede shoes.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The box elder and elderberry are two different pictures. The box elder is just a common weedy maple with trifoliate leaves that look more like ash leaves. The blue elderberry fruit has a light blue haze on it, like that of a plum, but substantial enough to make the berries look light blue instead of shiny black. They can be used like black elderberries, and look the same as they cook. There is also a species of red elderberry here, but they are supposedly not very good, more toxic (fresh), and rare. They live near the summit, but not down this low.


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