Allow me to return to the original purpose of this blog, which was to document my nature observations and Master Naturalist activities. I want to share that I finally solved our Bobcat Lair fruit mystery.
For a few weeks we’ve been seeing these weird fruits in the road and in the grass near our house. Anita and the neighbors had been baffled. A plant identification mystery!
Finally, last week, Anita and neighbor Angela determined that they were coming from across the street from us, where new owners had recently trimmed back some overgrown shrubbery. That’s been letting more fruit be seen. And it appeared to be coming from…a cedar (Ashe juniper) tree?
Looking harder, at the tree we realized there was something non-juniper-esque in there, which we never could see before. Well, we couldn’t see the house, either.
I took a photo of the fruit, which resembled a fig or a banana or a cashew to us. It was identified on iNaturalist as a snail. Nope. I posted to our chapter Facebook group and a couple people said a fig. But it didn’t feel like a fig.
So, today I took more photos, including the leaves, by crawling in the neighbor yard. Hmm. That tree could be a big vine.
I also got more fruit and cut one open. Hey, there were lots and lots of tiny seeds in there! Like a fig. Okay, so I have fig and vine.
I uploaded all my photos, and finally found a match. And it’s both a fig and a vine.
This seems to be a weird plant. It often has tiny leaves, but also parts with large leaves. I think the one across the street has both. (Look at what’s growing on the tree trunk above.) And those weird pulpy fruit! They are not like figs you eat. And they are in the mulberry family?
I looked into it more. Mulberries are a big family. So is ficus. Breadfruit is also one. Here’s more from Wikipedia (donate to them) about our new figgy friend:
But what the heck is a liana? I have a friend named Liana…what is she named for? It’s a woody, bridgy viney thing.
Do any of you know more about these plants? Interesting, huh?