The leaves of the Sugarberry are ovate shaped, and the venation is pinnate. They can have entire margins or be serrated on the upper half of the leaf. Typically about 2″ to 5″ long, the leaves have an acuminate tip and an uneven base. They can be slightly pubescent, but are mostly smooth. They are usually a light green color but turn yellow in the fall.
Twig and Bud Identification
The twig of the Sugarberry is typically zig zag, reddish-brown, and have lighter lenticels. The buds tend to be appressed, triangular, and tan. It lacks a true terminal bud, but it does have a pseudoterminal bud. The pith is chambered at the nodes.
The Sugarberry has distintive corky bark. The corks are usually spread out. These “corks” have been described in many ways including pancake stacks and a cell’s endoplasmic reticulum, but every tree lover has their own comparison to remember these lovable plant and other relatives.
The fruit of the Sugarberry are round drupes that each contain one seed. It is green then orangish-red but matures to dark purple. They are edible.
The Sugarberry’s flowers are very small. Usually only about 1/8″ long. They are light green and are produced on stalks at the leaf axils. They can produce perfect flowers, but if not, male flowers are in clusters while female flowers are solitary.