Well I’ll be damned. Do you know what a coffeeberry bush is? Scientific name Frangula californica. I only learned the name of this scrubby native bush a year or so ago, and when I did it was sort of a “huh, coffeeberry bush, is it? Well anyway back to what I was saying…” In other words, it was a just a big shrug. A shrub shrug, if you will.
It’s all over the place at the ranch, sort of gangly and sad, with silvery (aka olive drab) leaves and it makes these berries that look like coffeeberries (hence the name) that also have always looked to me like poster children for “don’t eat that strange berry unless you like having your stomach pumped.”
Well, yesterday around the same time I was discovering the baby grapes on the garden fence, I was also hearing this heavy droning buzz in the background. I figured it was my bees, natch, but I was looking all over the place for the flowers covered in bees. Bright, colorful flowers. I saw none on the roses. None on the peonies. A few in the clover. But my ears were telling me they were coming from the scrub brush on the other side of the fence, outside the garden. Sure enough, I found them, hundreds and hundreds of honeybees all over the teeny tiny green practically invisible completely underwhelming flowers on the coffeeberry bush!
Me: Coffeeberry bush has flowers?! No way!
Me to myself: Doy, Sara, if it has berries it has flowers. Gaw.
So, listen, Frangula Californica, I’m, like, SO sorry for thinking you were just an ugly snaggletooth outside my garden fence. And thanks for feeding my bees right during the dry spell between spring and the blackberry bloom. I will totally not try to cut you down like I did a couple years ago (wince).