We were expecting our October arbutus post to show only new flower bud growth. Our carefully watched seedlings had revealed themselves to be as yet unknown weeds. Hope for an arbutus seedling had dimmed considerably. Look at the top edge of the photo just left of center.
We are quite certain that the cluster of three properly shaped and hairy leaves are a new arbutus plant from seed. The soil mass taken when we transplanted was deep but not wide. That new plant is growing in our soil. That suggests that the seed from which it grew was formed here. If that is the case, then we have both genders of arbutus plant here.
This close up leaves little doubt about the identity of this plant. Its growth has been quite rapid as it was just a green spot under the pine needles in last month's photos.
These flower buds are what we expected to find. The exact placement of the bud cluster relative to the leaf stem and the main stem will be determined later. For now we do not want to poke about and risk snapping off a bud cluster.
Our next task is to manage the wire cage and snowfall. We need to have snow inside of the cage. When that first snowfall is forecast the protective cage will have to be removed so that the snow falls on the arbutus.