Berries - FINAL

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					                                                                                                                                                               IN THE GARDENS

                                                                            Left: the flame-like
                                                  Don’t deadhead roses      flowers of Tropaeolum
                                                  such as ‘Kiftsgate’ and   speciosum are followed
                                                  you should get a fine      by unusual blue fruits
                                                  display of hips
                                                                            Below left: in the Rock
                                                                            orbiculatus fruits well
                                                                            after a hot summer

                                                                            Rich jewels
                                                                            of autumn
                                                                            Opulent berries of all kinds adorn the Gardens at this time of
                                                                            year. Richard Wilford takes you through his treasured favourites

                                              See the striking fruits
                                                                                          ature’s autumn spectacle comes         Common holly, Ilex aquifolium, is the
                                              of Callicarpa bodinieri
                                                                                          in many wonderful shapes and       most widely grown type in British gardens,
                                              near the Princess of
                                                                                          forms. Vibrant foliage and late-   but there are 500 to 600 other species world-
                                              Wales Conservatory
                                                                                          flowering perennials give a         wide. Holly fruits are often red, but there
                                                                            boost to the borders at this time of year, but   are yellow forms too, such as Ilex aquifolium
                                                                            the abundant fruits can provide an equally       ‘Pyramidalis Fructu Luteo’. The female and
                                                                            bright and cheerful contribution.                male flowers are usually produced on sepa-
                                                                               Berries and berry-like fruits often offer     rate plants, and it’s the female ones that bear
                                                                            the season’s brightest colours, having           the fruits. Unless you have a self-pollinating
                                                                            evolved to attract birds and animals on the      variety, you’ll need to plant both male and
                                                                            lookout for an autumn feast. They enjoy          female forms to get those wonderful fruits.
                                                                            the often sweet, fleshy part of the fruit,            At this point it’s probably worth looking
                                                                            while the hard seeds pass through their          at what a berry really is, which isn’t as simple
                                                                            digestive system unharmed and are dis-           as it sounds. The word berry is commonly
                                                                            persed away from the parent plant.               used for a range of succulent fruits, but
                                                                               Of course, for gardeners these colourful      many of these aren’t true berries. Succulent
                                                                            fruits are just what borders need in autumn      fruits are formed from the ovary of the
                                                                            and there’s a wide range of plants that can      flower. A true berry, like a gooseberry, con-
                                                                            be used to great effect. A stroll around Kew     sists of several seeds enclosed by the soft
                                                                            can give you plenty of inspiration, with         flesh formed from the ovary wall. Other
                                                                            fruits of all kinds on show.                     succulent fruits, such as a drupe, have one

                                                                               Think of bright red berries and it’s prob-    seed enclosed in a hard case surrounded by
                                                                            ably holly that springs to mind. Inextricably    soft flesh. Cherries and plums are drupes.
                                                                            linked to Christmas, the fruits make great       Blackberries and raspberries are com-
                                                                            indoor decorations, but you’ll need to get       pound drupes, made up of a number of
                                                                            to them before the birds, which will strip a     drupelets clustered together.
                                                                            plant once other food sources begin to dry           But the story doesn’t end there. There are
                                                                            up. You can see Kew’s diverse collection         also false succulent fruits, which are formed
                                                                            near the Xstrata Treetop Walkway on Holly        from the receptacle of the flower. The recep-
                                                                            Walk, formerly known as Love Lane, a right       tacle is the expanded end of the flower stem
                                                                            of way that once ran from Kew to Richmond.       that holds the flower parts. For example,

                                            48 KEW Autumn 2009                                                                                         KEW Autumn 2009 49l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           IN THE GARDENS

      Actaea rubra fruits
      abundantly in the
      dappled shade of Kew’s
      Woodland Garden

                               A real autumn star,                                                                                                                                      Covered in vivid berries,
                               Clerodendrum                                                                                                                                             Cotoneaster lacteus is a
                               trichotomum can be seen                                                                                                                                  cheerful sight through
                               near the Temperate House                                                                                                                                 autumn and winter

                                                          It’s not just the stems
                                                          of Rosa roxburghii
                                                          that are prickly –                                                                                                          a rose hip is formed this way. Meanwhile a          Photinia is a genus of shrubs and small       berries, freckled with darker spots. You can
                                                          the hips are too                                                                                                            pome, which is similar to a hip, is formed trees renowned for their attractive leaves,            find it growing along the fence around the
                                                                                                                                                                                      from the receptacle, not the ovary.              especially the new spring growth, but if they    Pavilion Restaurant. Just a short walk away,
                                                                                                                                                                                          Despite all this technicality, the word set fruit they can also produce a spectacular         on the north side of the Temperate House,
                                                                                                                                                                                      berry is generally used to describe any display in autumn. Small pomes hang from                  you can see the blue berries of Clerodendrum

                                                                                    PHOTOGRAPHS: RICHARD WILFORD, CHRISTINA HARRISON, ANNE GREEN-ARMYTAGE/PHOTOLIBRARY, PAUL LITTLE
                                                                                                                                                                                      small, rounded, fleshy fruit, from true the plant in great dangling bunches. Photinia              trichotomum, each set in a pink star-like calix.
                                                                                                                                                                                      berries to some drupes and pomes – the davidiana is one that fruits well at Kew. You                   Meanwhile in the Woodland Garden you
                                                                                                                                                                                      fruit of holly, for example, is in fact a drupe. can find it, among a host of other plants in      can look out for the climbing nasturtium
                                                                                                                                                                                      On the other hand, some true berries aren’t the rose family, near the Pagoda. Look                relative Tropaeolum speciosum. Its scarlet
                                                                                                                                                                                      commonly called berries at all, such as out for other species too, such as Photinia               flowers are followed by clusters of metallic-
                                                                                                                                                                                      bananas and tomatoes.                            niitakayamensis, which also has impressive       blue seeds. You’ll also find several Actaea
                                                                                                                                                                                          Berrying plants abound in the rose fam- bunches of orange-red, berry-like fruits.             species here – A. asiatica, from China, Japan
                                                                                                                                                                                      ily. Although not true berries, their fruits        There are many species of Berberis with       and Korea, has shiny black berries, while
                                                                                                                                                                                      make a valuable contribution to the autumn attractive fruits, and these are true berries,         those of North American A. rubra are red.
                                                                                                                                                                                      garden. The red hips of roses such as ‘Kifts- coming in shades of red, blue and black.            And if you head on into the Rock Garden,
                                                                                                                                                                                      gate’ hang from Kew’s                                              Take a stroll through          you’ll find the dark purple-red fruits of the
                                                                                                                                                                                      Rose Pergola, while Rosa One of the most amazing Kew’s Berberis Dell to see                       coral berry (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus).
                                                                                                                                                                                      roxburghii, not far from autumn shrubs is the                      their diversity. In the same        The word berry covers a range of fruits,
                                                                                                                                                                                      Victoria Gate, puts on
                                                                                                                                                                                      a display of impressively
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     beauty berry, Callicarpa family, Berberidaceae, is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Mahonia, displaying bluish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but whether they’re true berries, drupes, hips
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        or pomes, they combine to colour the gar-
                                                                                                                                                                                      spiky hips. Also in this family are rowans or black berries from midsummer onwards.               den well into winter. And just in case you
                                                                                                                                                                                      (Sorbus), hawthorns (Crataegus) and spiny           One of the most amazing autumn shrubs         were wondering – a strawberry isn’t a berry,
                                                                                                                                                                                      Pyracantha, adorned with bright berry-like is the aptly named beauty berry, Callicarpa            it’s a compound false fruit in which the main
                                                                                                                                                                                      pomes – worth seeking out near the Japanese bodinieri. Its bright violet-purple drupes are        fleshy part is formed from the receptacle,
  Enjoy the golden berries                                                                                                                                                            Landscape. Another branch of the family, held in clusters, as if someone has tied                 with the seeds, the true fruits, set into the
  of Ilex aquifolium                                                                                                                                                                  Cotoneaster, comprises around 200 species. painted beads on to the bare branches.                 surface. I bet you wish you’d never asked! n
  ‘Pyramidalis Fructu                                                                                                                                                                 One of the most impressive in autumn is             Ampelopsis brevipedunculata is a lovely
  Luteo’ on Holly Walk                                                                                                                                                                C. lacteus, which lights up the Duke’s Garden climber in the vine family. In autumn it dis-       Richard Wilford is Kew’s Hardy Display
                                                                                                                                                                                      with its clusters of bright orange-red pomes. plays fascinating sea-green, blue and purple        collections manager

50 KEW Autumn 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                KEW Autumn 2009 51l