artemisia AQ

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Mystery 'Tree'

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 22:09

It certainly seems like Cornus mas, unusual and attractive in a garden. There is a youngish one -about 15 years old-  in my garden (I like indigenous plants) and it is usually smothered in golden blossom come late February, making a grand show, much nicer than Forsythia. This year I will have to wait a little longer as we have had very cold weather with metres of snow so the blossom is a little late in coming out. And, yes, it produces fruit: small bright scarlet cornels, oval in shape, that are very tart if eaten unripe. You have to wait for the cornels to turn almost dark red before they are ready to eat. I don't know about pollinators, perhaps there are wild ones about in the surrounding countryside . In this country - Italy-  it is a very rustic woodland shrub or small tree growing to about 800/1,000m asl. If you remember to leave some berries on the plant blackbirds and other friends will be pleased with you at the end of autumn.  Artemisia AQ

Posted: 26/02/2012 at 21:42

We live in Italy and we have had these on the lawn for the past two years or so. A nice new healthy lawn, too. We have discovered that they are a peculiar tye of organism  halfway between  slime and  mushrooms. They are often called "slime mold" and are quite disgusting to look at. Those we possess are bright emerald green in colour, and form jelly-like excrescences that sometimes spread out and sometimes "grow" into quite large bubble or pod-like forms. They seem to like a damp, warm situation under trees, if for instance  the grass gets waterlogged for a few days in summer when temperatures are high. They "die" if the climate is too hot and dry, but promptly reappear  when suitable humidity levels are reached again. We gather that they have different ways of transmission or reproduction, by means of spores or mycelia. So far we have found that the only way to remove them is to wait until they dry out and then we remove the whole patch, bit of underlying lawn included. This does make a patchy lawn in places, with bits of resown grass under new topsoil here and there, but as we don't  want to hurt the wildlife visiting the garden it seems to be the only way. I hope this helps. Artemisia AQ 

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