Blushing Berries

 As August progresses into deep autumn berries tinted with pink and red begin appearing on the hedgerows.  Technically, some of these berries are drupes which are fruits with seeds that are like small stones such as those in holly “berries”.  These flushing colours will eventually change to strong reds, blacks and oranges to attract feeders that will eat them and scatter their seeds far and wide in their droppings.

Holly flower buds (1a)
Ripening Holly berries (1b)

The tiny, white flowers of European holly (Ilex aquifolium) or Cuileann in Irish which bloomed in May have become green berries (1a).  These are now beginning to be tinged with pink (1b). They will become a vibrant red in November and December and will provide much needed winter food for thrushes, fieldfares, redwings and blackbirds. 

Ripening elderberries (2a)
Elder flower (2b)

The green berries on the Elder (Sambucus nigra) or Trom in Irish are gradually turning a pinkish colour before they eventually become purple black (2a). These berries emanated from fragrant, creamy white flowers which bloomed in May and attracted many pollinators (2b)

Dog-rose (3a)
Ripening Rose hips (3b)

The Dog rose (Rosa canina) or Feirdhris in Irish produced beautiful white or pinkish white flowers in June (3a). These turn into green hips after pollination (3b). These hips which are full of health-giving properties will eventually change to orange red colours.

Bramble blossom (4a)
Ripening blackberries (4b)

The fruits of the Bramble (Rubus fruticosus) or Dris in Irish produces pinkish white blossoms from June to September (4a)  These are pollinated by bees and the resultant berries are now beginning to change from green to a light red (4b).  These will eventually become the familiar juicy black purple berries later in the autumn.

Ripening Guelder rose berries (5a)
Guelder rose blossom (5b)

The berries of the Guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) or Caorchan in Irish are tinted in red now (5a).  These started off as creamy white flat lace like flowers that bloomed from May to July. (5b). These berries will change later in autumn to attractive, translucent red colours.