Can't identify shrub with green flower/leaf balls

kmeter(ZONE FIVE)

I found a shrub growing along the edge of the woods (near the road) last week when I was up in far northern (near Ely) Minnesota. It has these odd little balls of wavy leaves (or maybe they were flowers?) growing at the end of strong stems, like you might see roses or peonies growing. It had other, normal leaves, all over the shrub and it was probably about 3 feet high (though I'm not certain on that because it growing on a bit of an embankment. I just can not figure out what it might be, and I sure wish I had taken better photos. Any ideas? Thanks! Katy

SaveComment10Like
Comments (10)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
duluthinbloomz4

Could be a hazelnut - there are two wild species in Minnesota. Small nuts are borne in clusters that squirrels tend to "harvest".

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kmeter(ZONE FIVE)

Thanks for the idea. Definitely that's the closest thing I've seen though the involucres are pointy on hazlenut and the leaves (if that's what they are) are smooth on the edges of this. I am not there any more but may ask my grandma to send me more photos including some of the leaves.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kmeter(ZONE FIVE)

Here's one more photo in case it helps at all.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lycopus(z5 NY)

I suspect this is some type of leafy gall rather than a flower.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

For a sec there, I thought you'd found an ironwood tree fruit, or perhaps the other ironwood-er...musclewood, er Carpinus carolinianus. Anyway, I find myself drawn to the background in that last pic. Unless of course, the exposure is off and that's really a hairy guy's leg!

+oM

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kmeter(ZONE FIVE)

The dark brown background is just the fake-wood dashboard in my minivan. I'm almost positive this isn't a gall, and I've torn one apart to see if there is a bug inside --and there isn't. Would welcome other ideas.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

That is def. not what I was talking about! Oh well, human anatomy aside, I really have no idea. I didn't seriously mean I thought that was an inflorescense from Ostrya virginiana, just that it slightly resembled one, one at that which had been partially damaged.

+oM

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kmeter(ZONE FIVE)

Here is another more close up photo.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(Sunset Climate Zone 5, USDA Hardiness Zone 8)

The way someone here is going to recognize the shrub is if you show a shoot with at least several complete leaves visible. Also a habit photo of the bush itself would not be amiss, as would any good shots of mature winter buds or other distinctive parts that may be present, including fresh or even spent fruits.

Save    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kmeter(ZONE FIVE)

and one final photo. Maybe I'll ask my grandma to go back out there and take more photos of the whole shrub. But she uses a film camera which means it'll be a month or so before she gets it developed and mails it to me.

Save    
Browse Gardening and Landscaping Stories on Houzz See all Stories
Purple Foliage 5 Purple-Leaf Majesties of Shrubs
Looking for beautiful depth and dynamism in your landscape? Just add purple
Full Story
Gardening Guides How to Prune Your Flowering Shrubs for the Best Blooms
Less is often more when it comes to properly pruning flowering shrubs. Here’s what to do and why
Full Story
Fall Gardening 9 Deer-Resistant Flowering Shrubs to Plant This Fall
These exquisite shrubs will attract your attention but won’t tempt the deer that roam your neighborhood at night
Full Story