Friday, May 12, 2006

Overnight Sensation

It has been very dry around here--I'm in Prince Edward County this week and next. Last night it rained, and this morning I looked out to see the red cedars covered in orange...flowers?


Eastern Red Cedar - Juniperus virginiana is a kind of juniper, and subject to a fungus called cedar-apple rust. On the cedars (junipers) the fungus produces a gall that "blossoms" when it rains, and sheds spores.


The spores go on to infect apple trees (the rust phase), where they cause some trouble, and eventually pass the infection back to the cedars (which aren't much bothered by it) to start the cycle over again.

7 comments:

Muad'Dib said...

Wow, I mean yuck :)

I have never heard of these yet I have a bazillion cedar nearby. Guess I am off on a hike today to find this.

bev said...

A couple or so years ago, I photographed some of those growths on Red Cedars up at Foley Mountain Conservation Area near Westport. I posted the photos to the NatureList as I didn't know what they were. You might have seen the post at the time. Anyhow, one or two people posted replies and commented that they used to *eat* those things when they were kids -- Yikes! Not at all sure I'd want to try one!

Pamela Martin said...

Sean--I've never seen these on cedars, excpet for the red cedar, aka juniper. I have seen them on other kinds of junipers though.

Bev--I can imagine wanting to eat one of these things--so bright when they're fresh, and look a bit like a jelly candy (can't think of the name of these things). But I haven't tried it myself--wonder if it rusted their insides.

Pamela Martin said...

Gummi bears!

Kati said...

Fascinating! I haven't gone for a walk since our rains yet--I'll be looking up for a change from all the new growth on the forest floor!

pablo said...

This is yet another reason why I am trying to eradicate the cedars in my woods. I've cut down a score or two, and that leaves several thousand to go.

Muad'Dib said...

I went for a walk in the horse fields and within a few minutes found some. Yuckeroo. Slimy gummy tentacles.