Tatarian Honeysuckle Lonicera tatarica
Another pleasure for the springtime nose is the fragrance of the Tatarian Honeysuckle's flowers. Summertime eyes can witness the almost flourescent red berries of this plant. Notice that the berries are quite often in groups of two.
Eastern Redbud, Judas Tree Cercis canadensis
The Redbud is another member of the pea family. Do you see any pods hanging from the branches? Seeing the beautiful rosy pink flowers of this stately tree shouts that spring has arrived. This is the Oklahoma state tree.
Bradford Pear Pyrus calleryana var. Bradford
The Bradford Pear is a treat for the senses. The beautiful spring bloom treats the eyes to beautiful white blossoms while the nose is met with an appealing sweet aroma. Touch the leaves and notice the smooth, soft feel. In the fall the sense of sight is once again targeted as the leaves turn to a brilliant crimson-red. Despite its name this specimen will not bear fruit.
Beauty-bush Kolkwitzia amabilis
At first glance you might think that this is another Tatarian Honeysuckle. It is in the same family, but this species is known as the Beauty-bush. The springtime and early summer visitor is again afforded a sweet fragrance from this plant's flowers. The fruit is small with a furry covering.
Green Ash Fraxinus pennsylvanica
The Green Ash has what are referred to as compound leaves. This species has 5 to 9 leaflets per leaf. How many leaflets do you see on this tree's leaves? The winged fruit is an important food item for wildlife in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the country. Uses for the wood include tool handles, baseball bats, and snowshoes.
English Oak Quercus robur var. fastigiata
This variety of English Oak is columnar shaped. The leaves of this tree turn red in the fall shifting to brown as the winter progresses. The leaves remain on the branches until the spring when new ones emerge. English ships and the interior of castles and churches were made from the wood of this tree.
Box-elder (female) Acer negundo
This specimen of Box-elder is female. Female and male flowers grow on separate trees. Observing the fruits of this plant should reveal to you that it is a member of the Maple family. The winged fruits are termed samaras. The Native Americans of the plains used the sap as a source of syrup. If you are from this area, then you are familiar with the black and orange box-elder bugs that leave the trees in the fall and make their way into houses and buildings.
Black Walnut Juglans nigra
The Black Walnut is a favorite of the squirrels that live on campus. In the fall you might see these animals cutting off the walnuts with their teeth. The pulp of the fruit contains a powerful dark staining compound. The leaves are known as compound leaves.
Colorado Pinyon, Pinyon Pinus edulis
The large thin shelled seeds of the Colorado Pinyon are an important food source for wildlife and Native Americans. This species of Pinyon is different than the Idaho native Single Leaf Pinyon in that it has two needles, whereas the Single Leaf Pinyon has a single fascicled needle.
Common Chokecherry Prunus virginiana
The tasty treats of Chokecherry jam and syrup are made from the fruit of this species. Pick some up in a local store, or for a more rewarding experience, head for the hills in early fall, pick some native chokecherries yourself and make your own jam and syrup.
Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany Cercocarpus ledifolius
This Idaho native provides both cover and browse for deer. Believe it or not its wood is so dense that it will not float on water. When this specimen of Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany matures, it will produce fruits that bear a long, feather-like, hairy extension. Does this specimen live up to its name?
Japanese Yew Taxus x media (x=hybrid species)
This species is frost hardy. The Japanese Yew is related to the Pacific Yew which has recently been found to contain a compound (taxol) that may help cure uterine cancer. Poisonous hard shelled seeds are surrounded by a red fleshy cup which is referred to as an aril.
Austrian Pine Pinus nigra
The handsome Austrian Pine was introduced into North America over 200 years ago. How many needles do you find in each bundle? This particular tree is heavily travelled by local squirrels. The squirrels use this tree to climb up to the ledge of the second floor where university employees often put out food. If your timing is right you may notice a squirrel or two peering into the second floor window looking for a handout.
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