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Black twinberry is a deciduous species of shrub that is found across North America. In British Columbia, it is commonly found in the lower two thirds of the province. Habitat includes moist forests and thickets with moist nitrogen-rich soils (Douglas et al. 1998, Klinka et al. 1989). It is tolerant of fluctuating groundwater levels (Klinka et al. `989). It is readily identified by the yellow tubular flowers that occur in pairs, and the black shiny berries.
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General: Deciduous, erect to straggly shrub, 0.5-5 m tall; young twigs 4-angled, greenish, glabrous; older stems with yellowish-grey, shredding bark.
Leaves: Opposite, short-stalked, elliptic to oblanceolate or broadly lanceolate, 3-16 cm long, 2-8 cm wide, entire, rounded or tapered at base, abruptly sharp-pointed at tip, pale and glabrous or somewhat hairy beneath.
Flowers: Inflorescence of short-stalked pairs of flowers cupped by large (2 - 4 cm across) involucres of 2 pairs of fused bracts, on 1-4 cm long stalks in leaf axils; corollas tubular bell-shaped, yellow, 1-2 cm long, glandular hairy on outside, scarcely 2-lipped with 5 roughly equal lobes above; corolla tubes with short thick spurs at bases.
Fruits: Berries, shiny black, 0.8-1.2 cm across, paired, loosely surrounded while young by paired bracts, which darken and redden (to purplish-maroon) as they recurve from the maturing fruits.
A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, transcontinental North American deciduous shrub. Occurs on very moist to wet, nitrogenrich soils (Moder or Mull humus forms). Tolerates fluctuating groundwater tables. Widespread in boreal, temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; scattered to plentiful in the open or in broad-leaved forests on water-receiving (alluvial, floodplain, seepage, and stream-edge) sites and on water-collecting (swamps and fens) sites. Persists on cutover sites where it may hinder natural regeneration and growth of shade-intolerant conifers. A nitrophytic species characteristic of alluvial floodplain forests.
Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2017. E-Flora BC:
Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia [eflora.bc.ca]. Lab for
Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British
Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed:
20/10/2017 2:19:37 PM
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