I usually do a lot better in paying attention to my son’s baseball games, but tonight was just a scrimmage, a practice game. My daughter doesn’t sit still in the bleachers and watch the game if there isn’t a critical mass of spectators there to chat up. Other young siblings were roaming around and playing. I worry a foul ball will land on her, so I was chasing her around when something out past the fence caught my eye.
Sorry, not a great shot of the tree, but it was evening and the light wasn’t helping me.
(What are those structures along the branch? Leaf stipules? Elegant.)
Pretty, no? Looked to me like a Prunus sp. — ornamental cherry? But I can’t remember ever noticing one with flowers arranged in a long raceme like this. It stood out because most of the trees at the ball field perimeter are red maples, Acer rubrum, displaying only their winged seeds.
How do folks go about figuring out mystery plants, other than stumbling on them in nurseries and reading tags? Yes, I used to use a dichotomous key to identify plants, but who needs that now when all you have to do is type a few descriptive words at the computer and then scroll through as many images as your browser will provide or you have time to peruse?
Of course no guarantees I’m right, but looks to me like Prunus padus, European birdcherry. More photos and information about this species can be found on OSU’s website.