Thanks, Rats!

Look what I found…

Took out the garbage this weekend and do you know what I found? The most extraordinary turquoise and purple berries. Aren’t they wonderful?

Y’all, I swear to you these images are not photoshoped.  This is the real deal. They are turqoise and purple. Now, when was the last time you saw a turquoise and purple plant? If you can identify another plant that simultaneously blooms/or/blossoms/or/berries turquoise and purple, I’ll send you a box of paper flowers (no kidding here folks, I have twelve tons of paper flowers and sincerely want to know if there is more of this stuff out there. Let’s trade!)

The vine appears to originate right from the crack between my back fence and the garbage cans in the alley. Can you believe that?  Well you know I hopped on to do some internet research quick and found out they are Porcelian Berries, and are considered to be, get this: a weed.

A weed? Seriously? How could anything so beautiful be considered a weed?

So I called my friend Nancy who knows about these things, who confirmed, yes, they are invasive and undesirable, and no they are not unusual. Nancy also told me that, this time of year, urban alleys like mine are the best places to find exotic berry vines.

Apparently rats are the ones spreading all the fun around…they eat the berries and scamper away, only to, ahem, “release” the berries out the other end while foraging for garbage in the alley. She said the vines will sprout and thrive in the alley for years before anyone bothers to try and hack them down. In some cases, they may even grow into free-standing bushes and trees like the beautiful orange and red ones below. Well you know, the second she said that I had to go back out in the alley and take a look for myself.

She was right. There were berries everywhere. Blue ones, red ones, fat ones, tiny ones, and even some orange cherry looking things. I always knew there were plenty of vines crawling up the fences, but never took the time to walk around in the autumn to look for berries. Man, what have I been missing? And to think it’s all on account of the rats.

Thanks, Rats!


Look whats growing up my alley telephone pole! Grapes!!!


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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I’m in Western NC and just last week, I saw a vine with clusters of purple berries! They looked like miniature grapes. Really cool. I’ve seen something like the red berries and wrinkly berries around here.

    Those porcelian berries almost look like a birds egg! How cool. Let’s see what others say, but definitely we have that “weed” here in WNC – Asheville, Brevard!

    Anne in WNC

  2. says

    Well I have those same berries (gorgeous) but the leaves are varigated green and white. It is called porcelian vine. If its a weed I sure got took by the garden center. I paid $20.00 for mine. I live in the farthest north west corner of Washington state so maybe they dont grow wild here.

  3. says

    Porcelainberry is an ornamental, and was originally introduced to north america as a bedding plant. It is now considered invasive or “a weed”, because it is an alien plant that will spread quickly into, and take over, our native habitat (shading out and out-competing our native species). As gorgeous as it is, it is important to choose native and non-invasive vines when gardening, for the sake of not endangering our unique native habitats.
    http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/ambr1.htm

  4. says

    such lovely photos! one person’s weed is another person’s treasured vine, apparently. i see a theme running through this blog… if you want to see beauty, you see beauty, don’t you Peaches? i’d much rather have it that way, too.

  5. Anonymous says

    It may be beautiful, but I would recommend pulling that sucker out so it doesn’t spread. Invasive plants can take over local ecosystems and result in the loss of our local beauties.

  6. says

    Those berries are so pretty!

    Wild Blue Phlox also blooms a range of blues and light to deep purples at the same time… they are really beautiful as well. :)

  7. says

    I’m quite jealous of your turquoise & purple berries. They are my two most favorite colors. It is also good to read that rats might actually be good for something. They normally just give me the chills and make me want to vomit. Unless they’re pet rats. Then they’re adorable. I know. I’m weird. Thanks for sharing the photos. I might have to look into those berries!

  8. says

    I got upset at my mother, once, for calling my Wildflowers “weeds”. The nerve. I figure if it’s pretty and I don’t have to do anything to get it there or keep it there, it’s my new favorite. LOL

    Those berries are divine! I wonder if you can preserve them for wreaths…

  9. says

    Wow! Your alley is much more exciting than mine. I love those berries and I really thought that they were fake/enhanced at first. Great photos, by the way!

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