Blush? Bush

Rouge plants (Rivina humilis) are flourishing in the shade in the pollinator plant bed next to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area volunteer office at the (Pelican Island) Audubon House. Planted on 5-23-2015, the rouge plant is both flowering and fruiting …

Thank you to Pelican Island Audubon Society Office Manager and patient teacher Bob Montanaro for helping/teaching me to capture the beauty of the pretty plant that belongs to the pokeweed family, Phytolaccaceae. Plants in this family often are toxic to humans, if not properly prepared.

The tiny bright red fruits, however, are a favored food of birds, and, hence, this plant also is called pigeon berry. Bloodberry is another common name for this plant. Rouge plant refers to its past use in the cosmetic industry for making rouge, which now is named ‘blush’.

Whatever you call it, this small plant (usually no large than 2′ tall) is wonderful pollinator and wildlife plant for shady places.

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