Pyrus calleryana, or Bradford Pear, is a deciduous, hardwood, ornamental tree native to China and Vietnam. It is widely planted for its showy white spring blossoms and reliable orange-red fall foliage. It produces small hard inedible fruits, loved by birds, who happily disperse their seeds, making the tree invasive in many parts of the country. One of the first to bloom here at Gratus.
The first ornamental to bloom each year at Gratus. The double flowering purple plum is a cross between Prunus mule, or Japanese apricot, and the cherry plum, Prunus cerasifera, from southwestern Europe.
Acer rubrum, or red maple , a common deciduous tree of Eastern and Central North America, is widely planted as an ornamental for its spectacular fall foliage.
Cornus kousa, or Chinese Dogwood, is a small, deciduous flowering tree native to East Asia. It typically flowers later, up to one month, than our native dogwood, Cornus florida. Pictured here are the sweet edible fruits, looking so luscious in the early autumn.
The driveway into Gratus, lined with Cupressus sempervirens “glauca” or Italian Cypress native to the Mediterranean, and Populus nigra “Italica” or Lombardy popular native to the Po River region of northern Italy. Nice combination.
Rhus copallina, or winged sumac, sometimes referred to as flame leaf sumac, is a small deciduous shrub/tree native to Easter North America. This particular impressive clone is known as “Lanham’s Purple” and is quite rare in cultivation.
The term conifer derives from Latin and means “cone-bearing”. Cones are the reproductive structures of conifers and contain the seeds. Most people refer to them as “pine cones”, but in fact all conifers bear cones, including spruces, firs, redwoods, larches, etc. This photo is the developing cone of a Norway spruce (Picea abies, “Aurea.”)
Note that it hangs down from its branch-this is important as we examine other types of cones.
Helianthus, or common sunflower. Native to North America, this beloved flower represents loyalty and longevity, projecting the energy of the sun itself.
Veraison at Gratus Vineyards. Change in the color of berries indicates the onset of fruit ripening. The countdown to harvest is on!