So favored by Whooping Cranes it’s fruits sometimes are called ‘crane candy,’ the plant known as Carolina Wolfberry (Lycium carolinianum) also is known as Christmas Berry. A member of the nightshade family, its rich purple flowers begin forming fruit in late fall — just in time to feed hungry cranes arriving from the north, and to fill wetlands and ditches with the vibrant red and green traditionally associated with Christmas.
When I found this unusually tall and well-formed plant, I couldn’t help but smile. It seemed joyful and festive: a perfect Christmas-berry ‘tree’ to mark the season. I hope it brings you a smile, too, just as I hope your own season is filled with peace and joy.