Here is a very common shrub that I see everywhere around here where I live. It has captured my attention and intrigue, but I cannot seem find out what it is. I thought I would put it out here to see if any of you readers know what it is.
The leaves have a very pleasant balsam fragrance when crushed. It smells a lot like the Sweetgum tree to me. I didn’t dare taste it, because I don’t know the potential toxicity.
Right now it has berries. A few weeks ago these berries were white flowers.
It has purple speckles on the stems… these markings make me feel extra careful about its potential toxicity. Poison hemlock has purple spots, and even though this shrub has a much different structure from the hemlock, I wonder if the speckles are a plant signature warning of poison. That may not be the case, but I do want to look into it further.
The berries are flattened spheres, not fully round. They are turning a reddish purple. The ones in the photo are still mostly green, though.
The leaves have an unusual structure that I haven’t really seen before. In between the large leaflets, there is a smaller leaf growing along the stem.
Any ideas out there for what this plant could be? Leave a comment if you have any suggestions!