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carrion-flower.jpg

Carrion Flower

I found these blue berries on a plant near the edge of the woods near my home. The cluster of berries were about the size of an orange and started about 18 inches above the ground.  Any idea what they could be?

The attractive fruit belongs to the native known as Carrion flower (Smilax herbacea).  The attractive fruit is often used in dry flower arrangements.  If you want to use the fruit, ask permission before picking and wait until the leaves dry and drop off to harvest.  The fruit will be less likely to rot when brought indoors.  Watch or should I say smell for the flowers next May and June.  They are yellowish green and smell like rotten meat.  The foul smell attracts the pollinating flies and gave rise to its common name.  The vine grows 3 to 10 feet long and can be found in moist woods and thickets.

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