I bought this Spicebush, along with a Serviceberry at a native tree sale this weekend. I'll eventually need at least one other Spicebush, unless I'm very lucky indeed, because it's one of the few dioecious plants. Dioecious plants have either male flowers or female flowers, and so require two of opposite genders to set berries or fruit. If I'm very lucky, my spicebush will be one of the odd specimens that has a few flowers of the 'wrong' gender, or a few 'perfect' flowers. A perfect flower, you may have guessed, has both boy and girl parts (stamens and pistils) and so can pollinate itself. I think. I'm no botanist, and this is what I've gleaned from about 30 minutes of research. The Serviceberry is self-fertile but will set more berries if it has a mate of the same genus (Amelanchier). Apparently apples are like this as well. My current Serviceberry had flowers in the spring, but no berries in June, so I'm hoping the two will inspire fecundity in one another. The berries are, of course, mostly for the birds, though I'm sure the kids and I will snack on them now and again. The trouble is that the birds eat them before they're quite ripe to human tastes. Sneaky! My distant dream is to have a flock of Cedar Waxwings visit my spicebushes one autumn day, and spend the afternoon eating while I look on in wonder.
My weekly menu: Black bean and corn tortillas Orzo and feta with lemon caper dressing and kalamata olives Spaghetti with bacon and spinach Fried tilapia, spicy black beans, salad Moroccan chicken stew with sweet potatoes Maple baked beans, brown bread, applesauce and braised greens Roast turkey breast, baked butternut squash, and green beans