Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is one of the first berries to ripen, in mid June, because it is one of the first to bloom. Distantly related to apples and roses, the Serviceberry trees look like puffy white clouds as you drive down the road in early May. I have several here on the Farm, and I think I may spread some more out in the hedgerows because they are pretty and do have a sweet berry that if I can beat the birds to it, is quite good.
The tiny blossoms of the wild strawberry spangle the pasture like stars, heralding the fruit that will ripen in the first week of June, and which is probably the best flavor I harvest here at Stonycroft. The fruit will be about the size of the end of my pinkie finger, and if it is too dry, I may not get any.
Partridge berry (Mitchella repens) is one of those neat little fruits that develops from not one flower but two. They ripen in early May from flowers that set the previous fall. Unfortunately, although they are pretty, they don’t taste like much and have a spongy texture.
One of the earliest spring wildflowers. They aren’t edible, and as a matter of fact I never pick them, as they are relatively rare.
Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) is named for the bright yellow, threadlike roots. The Native Americans used them for medicine. I haven’t tried that, I just love the tiny blossoms that appear to float over the forest floor, their stems are so thin.
Later in the season “Jack” will become a cluster of bright red berries, but Arisaema triphyllum is not at all edible. The earthy flowers are easy to miss, but a treat to look at when you do find them.