Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What's in a name?

A rose would smell as sweet..... etc.

But try taking that (description only) to a nursery to find more!  Ha!

White berries in August
When I moved here in 2002, I was told that a certain shrub along the driveway was a type of viburnum.  Which type?  Unknown.  Both of the previous owners were deceased by that time.

Occasionally I would do a cursory search on the web trying to identify the shrub.  No luck.  I never could find a viburnum with white berries.

But (as my last post suggested) every now and then I get - very Very focused.  And, with this season's drought and heat driving me into the house for hours, even days at a time, I decided this week that it was time to find that viburnum!

Every day I've searched.  And by search, I mean looking at pictures of viburnums.  Lots of pictures.  Hundreds of pictures.  I read fast and can examine pics even faster.  Search after search - Google, Bing, Ask, etc.

There simply no viburnums with white berries.  *sigh*  So this morning I decided to change my search to 'shrubs with white berries'.  I went through a plentitude of pics.  Fast. Faster. Faste.... *whoa*  Wait.  Backup.  There.  Look at THAT!  And THAT looked good.

I spent another 20 minutes cross checking pics, data, nurseries, etc.

Well.  Son of a gun.  I'd FOUND IT!  (Only 10 years later.)

My brain got a nice bath of endorphins, which helped take my mind off of my burning eyes.  I picked up my half-empty coffee cup, went outside, stood in front of the bush, saluted it with the cup and called the 'mystery viburnum' by name:

Dogwood in bloom - late May

DOGWOOD?   The heck you say!

Yeah.  Dogwood. Who knew... ;-/  Ya just can't believe everything a realtor tells ya.

*sheesh*  Gray twigged dogwoods (cornus racemosa) are native to NE USA and Southern Canada, this drought/deer/heat/cold resistant 10-12' round shrub is an absolute MUST.   So much so that, with the new-found info, I've collected a handful of ripe berries and will wintersow them next spring.**  I mean, really.  Who wouldn't want a more of these incredible, no care/no worry bloomers in the garden?  Especially when you finally get to a first-name basis. *heh*

How do YOU use the internet to ID plants?


**  OR ... I could just dig up some of the dogwood shoots sprouting in the lawn and pot them up! (The tall one *may* be a red-twigged from a neighboring shrub.)

I'll be watching these closely...  


  1. What on earth did we do before the internet?? I'm constantly searching for info .
    You have a beautiful Dogwood. Glad you could I.D. it. A row of those would sure be gorgeous in bloom......

    1. Sue - before internet there were (and still are) books. (teehee). But I can click through web pics waaay faster than turning pages...

      I hope the berry/seed sprouting works. :-D

  2. It is a beautiful shrub no matter what you call it! Like you, I am crazed if I don't know a plant.....thank you internet.

    1. "Crazed" Yep. I'm guilty... ;-/

  3. Glad you finally got your shrub ID'd - it's a good-looking plant.

    I have a similar large shrub at the edge of the Coppice, the name of which has eluded me for four years. Last month I cracked it - stumbled across an entry on another blog with the same shrub, same flowers, same growth habit. I was a happy Hobbit, until I read your post and realised I have lost track of the blog entry in question and can't remember the bl**dy name!

    1. Oh, poor Hobbit. :-( Why not post a pic and description on your blog and your readers can offer suggestions.

      You'd think with the gazillion pages and pics on the web, identifying something would be simple. But there is so much disorganization, so much MISinformation out there that it's fracking frustrating trying to find stuff.


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