Friday, December 18, 2015

Red Is For Christmas

Nature's Red Spells Christmas

High-bush Cranberry Viburnum opulus
Christmas is a time for red, to cheer us from a dull landscape.  The human eye likes the colour red.  Perhaps it is because it is the complementary colour to green which we see so much of in our surroundings.  It acts as 'eye candy' and a wonderful accompaniment to Christmas.

Red Trillium Trillium erectum

Cardinal Flower Lobelia cardinals [Internet photo]

Red is not a common colour for wild flowers.  So, we start celebrating in summer with the two shown above, the Red/PurpleTrillium and the Cardinal Flower.  The Red Trillium grows in our mixed and hardwood forests in early spring.  It is a welcome sight after a long winter.  It is sometimes called Wake Robin.  The Cardinal Flower is smallish and insignificant on first sight.  But looking closely it is very beautiful.  What a gorgeous colour!  It grows along stream banks and adjacent damp meadows in a few places here.  

Mountain Holly Ilex mucronatus
Winterberry Ilex verticillata
Shown above are the pleasing red of two of our berries.  These ripen in the fall.  Mountain Holly is found in damp thickets, swamps, bogs and wet woods.  Winterberry is beautiful in late fall and early winter as the bright red berries cling to the naked stems.  It is often picked and placed in Christmas bouquets.  

Florists market many commercial red flowers at Christmas time.  Shown below are the red rose and the amaryllis.

Red Rose

And, to finish this post, I will show a photo I took of a visit to a greenhouse where poinsettias were being grown for Christmas.  What a sight this was!


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