Billings, Montana @ ZooMontana
Otter Viewing Area
Native and Non-native
The upper Otter Viewing area contains a rather unique mix of native and non-native specimens. For this reason we have chosen to group them together as they are all within a short walking distance or quick turnaround. As they are native and of relatively small size they do not have a "real time" valuation.
Snowberry is a native shrub commonly used en masse or in naturalized landscapes. Thin, cascading branches produce small, pink flowers that appear in spikes in early summer followed by clusters of white berries in autumn.
Catalogue A# 2018-019 WW9
Specimens can also be found in Dottie's Garden and the Lynx Habitat.
Blue Rug Juniper is a low shrub or ground cover-type evergreen, native to North America. It can be especially attractive trailing over ledges or retaining walls and very useful on slopes. Junipers are cold-hardy, durable and adaptable plants that can bring year-round color to a dry, alkaline, or windy site. The foliage of scale-like needles is attractive but prickly.
Catalogue A# 2018-17 WW12
The species was introduced into North America in the late 19th century, and subsequently escaped cultivation, because its fruits, which seldom ripen in England,are relished by birds which disperse the seeds. Russian olive is considered to be an invasive species in many places in the United States because it thrives on poor soil, has low seedling mortality rates, matures in a few years, and outcompetes wild native vegetation.
Put into accession due to many inquiries by out-of-state visitors.
Catalogue A# 2018-NA WW10
The berry is one of the mainstays of the diet of the sharp-tailed grouse. The foliage provides important forage for mule deer and white-tailed deer. The shrub's thorny branches and thicket forming habit provide a shelter for many small animal species and an ideal nesting site for songbirds. Over the extent of its range, the buffaloberry is an important species in a variety of ecological communities.
The berries of this specimen are very intense in their red color and very noticeable by visitors. It's unique bark can be seen in the photo-bottom left.
Catalogue A# 2018-NA WW7