Gunnera manicata, the South American Giant Rhubarb. The plants grow easily to a size of 10’ x 10’, and the inner portions of stalks are edible and apparently used in salads. Single leaves can grow over 5’ in diameter!
I’ve been meaning to submit these photos to you for quite a while since a couple of weeks ago there was a lot of plum talk, and I thought you might not have heard of this species before, as I hadn’t until this Summer. This is Prunus maritima, otherwise known as the Beach Plum.
These dense clusters of shrubs were right on the dunes some 300 feet (about 90 meters) away from the Atlantic Ocean [in the United States]. They ripen from August to early September and since I am in the most Southern part of their range they ripen on the earlier side and were quite tasty.
They are tart and sweet and only very slightly bitter comparable to a cranberry (although not nearly as bitter in my personal opinion). I think it all comes down to the individual fruit where some are very sweet with almost no bitter taste, and some are more bitter with a more tart taste.
Either way I was eating them for a week and burying the pits in the dunes.
The most striking thing about these plants though in my opinion is the large spectrum of colors the plums can be, varying from almost a deep purplish pink to purple to every deep shade of indigo and blue that there is.
Also, there was a large female black and yellow garden spider (Argiope aurantia) roughly the size of my hand (no exaggerations whatsoever) guarding the plums. I didn’t see any insects any where close to the plums except for a few very small flies that were already consumed in Ms. Spiders web.
These fruits were untouched and perfect. All of the photos were taken on August 10th, except for the photo of the Ocean which was taken the day before. This is about three hours from where I live.