Radiant Randia

White indigo berry (Randia aculeata) is flowering now at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) on the sunny edges of the mosquito control dikes.  This sturdy, somewhat salt tolerant native plant also can be found growing on Orchid Island and is shown above in July of 2018 at Treasure Shores Park.

Its five-petaled very white flowers are fragrant and quite tiny, smaller than a dime.  Their snow-white color contrasts nicely with the glossy green foliage.

The leaves of this plant can be quite variable in shape and size, making for challenging ID …

Its dime-sized white fruits, though, allow for easy ID …

Note the indigo pulp peeking through the white covering.  Birds and other critters consume the fruits and spread the seeds.

White indigo berry is a larval host plant for tantalus sphinx moths (Aellopus tantalus), so be on the lookout for  larvae.  Moths, the unsung pollinators, may be among the pollinators of white indigo berry.  White flowered plants often are moth-pollinated.

Usually much taller (up to 10′) than broad, white indigo berry deserves greater use as a drought-tolerant landscape plant for its glossy green leaves, fragrant flowers, and white – indigo fruits that feed wildlife.

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