An explosion of snow bombs
AS a child I remember a couple of plants I used to mess around with while walking home from school. One was fuchsia bushes and I would pick the red flowers, bursting the flower heads and stripping out the anthers and petals. The other shrub I picked was what we call snow bombs, named after the snow white round berries hanging on the shrub in the middle of winter. The reason for writing about snow bombs at the moment is firstly it is winter, but also I still see several plants growing in gardens with the berries still on in this mild winter. Snowberry is a hardy shrub which has now escaped into the wider British countryside. It is deciduous, but the bright white berries remain throughout the winter, unless we have particularly hard weather and the birds will start eating them. It is also a plant which has been popular for planting as pheasant cover on shooting estates and is usually found along hedgerows and as cover in woodland. While driving through Norfolk last summer, snowberry was very common along the country lanes as were the pheasants. In the early summer small pink flowers appear on the bush and then the berries, which in Britain rarely contain any ripe seeds. The plants tend to spread by the long suckers and are found sporadically across Kent.
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