|Skill Level 1|
|Year of Introduction: 1945|
The Shrubs Honor is an optional component of the Naturalist Master Award .
1. Note three characteristics of shrubs that distinguish them from trees and herbs. Why is a grape vine sometimes regarded as a shrub?Edit
These are the differences between trees and shrubs:
- Shrubs do not grow as tall as trees, generally not reaching higher than 4.5 meters .
- A shrub's trunk has a circumference of less than 24 cm at 1.4 meters above the ground.
- Shrubs often have multiple trunks, while trees generally have a single, central trunk.
On the other end of the spectrum, herbs are seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering. Shrubs are also seed-bearing, but they have woody stems which remain over the winter.
Why is the grapevine considered a shrub? Let's consider what we know about grapevines in light of the above definition of a shrub:
2. Name three important wild or cultivated food shrubs of your locality. Name a shrub that produces edible nuts.Edit
Some important food shrubs include:
- Highbush blueberry
- Lowbush blueberry
- Red Currant
- Black Currant
Even if people do not eat the food these shrubs provide, they are an important source of food for wildlife.
The hazel is a genus of about ten species of deciduous trees and large shrubs native to the temperate northern hemisphere. Species include the Common Hazel and the Filbert, both of which produce edible nuts with which most of us are familiar.
3. Name two cultivated shrubs and two wild shrubs of your locality that produce showy flowers.Edit
These shrubs grow in many areas. The table below indicates where the plants grow in the wild, and where they are cultivated.
|Azalea||North America, Asia, Europe, Australia||Worldwide|
|Clematis||Temperate Zones, Worldwide||Temperate Zones, Worldwide|
|Forsythia||Asia, Europe||North America|
|Mountain Laurel||Eastern North America|
4. Do most shrubs blossom in the spring, summer, or autumn? Name one shrub whose flowers open before the leaves appear.Edit
Most shrubs bloom in the spring.
5. What parasitic shrub frequently used for indoor decoration grows on the high branches of different kinds of trees?Edit
6. Give an example of a shrub whose leaves in autumn turn from green to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, or red.Edit
The Mountain Maple (Acer spicatum) is a deciduous shrub or tree native to northeastern North America from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland, and south to Pennsylvania. It also grows at high elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains to northern Georgia. Mountain Maple grows 3–8 m tall, forming a spreading shrub or small tree having a short trunk and slender branches. The leaves turn brilliant yellow to red in autumn, and are on slender stalks usually longer than the blade.
Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) is another shrub with yellow to orange to red fall foliage. This plant is native to the Eastern United States from New Jersey to Louisiana. It has beautiful white flowers in the spring.
Fothergilla (Fothergilla) is a genus of shrubs that produces gold, orange, and scarlet foliage in the fall.
7. Observe some shrub which is in bloom and list as many kinds of insects as you can (at least three) which come to its blossoms for pollen or nectar.Edit
Because most shrubs bloom in the spring, this honor will be easiest to earn during that season. Some shrubs hold their blossoms through the summer, and a few will even bloom well into autumn. Witch Hazel is a very unusual shrub in that it does not bloom until October or November. During this time, it may have on its branches yellow leaves, full blossoms, and ripe nuts from the previous year's flowers - all at the same time.
This requirement will effectively prevent you from teaching this honor in the winter, but it would be a wonderful honor to offer during the Pathfinder "off season" (that is, during the summer) on a Sabbath afternoon.
8. From what shrubs do birds prefer to eat the fruit or seeds? Name a shrub whose flowers attracts birds.Edit
Birds love to eat berries from almost any kind of shrub that produces them. Serviceberries, juneberries, currants, mulberry, elderberry, are all very popular with birds, as are blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Birds also like to eat the berries from viburnums, spicebush, winterberries, hollies, and dogwoods.
Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers of the honeysuckle, as they produce a sweet nectar (some people eat honeysuckle nectar too).
9. In what shrubs do birds prefer to build their nests?Edit
Birds like to build their nests in shrubs that offer lots of protection from the weather and from predators. Shrubs that provide nesting include dogwoods, viburnums, bayberry, and juniper.
10. Collect, preserve, and correctly identify the flowers, leaves, seeds, seed pods, or twigs with buds of ten wild shrubs.Edit
For this requirement, we recommend that you use a good field guide. Here are some suggestions:
- A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guides) by Lee Allen Peterson and Roger Tory Peterson. Note that this book is also very useful for earning the Edible Wild Plants honor, as well as the Pioneering and Wilderness Living honors.
- Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs (Peterson Field Guide Series) by George A Petrides
- Flowering Shrubs: A Magna Field Guide by Jaromir Pokorny