This is not an uncommon site in the spring and the fall of the year if you’re driving down Canada’s byways. But the question of what it is does require some thought. What you’re looking at is the result of a bumper crop at one of our marshmallow farms. Anyone who has stopped on the side of the road for a stretch, or to see if you have phone signal or to change a flat tire might also comment that they’re huge. Well spotted!
There’s a reason for that. In the summer lots of Canadian kids end up in summer camp. They learn the arts of short–sheeting a counselor’s bed, sneaking out to the bar in town and attempting to lower your voice an octave to get in or simply skinny dipping off the dock into a freezing cold lake. All great fun. One of the actual scheduled activities for the ones left behind is roasting marshmallows on a campfire. It’s not practical for camps to buy the commercially available small ones so we’ve created a hybrid. Roasted on a spit like a pig, it can take care of the whole camp at once (with the exception of those short sheeting a bed, sneaking into the bar or dossing clothes down by the lake)
Further to the field notes above, this is a prime example of a young Marshmallow Tree. Note this is the smaller variety commercially available in most Canadian supermarkets. This also appears to be one of the new hybrids and has been crossed with a gooseberry bush ( have a close look at the leaves) Photo courtesy of Elias and Shirley Katsourakis and Betty Wakka–all Australian.