I was a teenager in the 1960s, so inevitably the vibrant colours of these spindle Euonymus europaeus fruits remind me of the colours used in psychedelic art during the period. This must surely be our most colourful hedgerow tree, not least because its foliage also turns crimson in October.
When the fruit splits open it reveals the seeds, which are covered in an extra fleshy orange layer known as the aril, which makes them attractive to birds. Very few British native plants have seeds with arils, although they are common in the tropical flora - the fleshy edible part of a lychee is an aril.
Sadly, spindle is now an uncommon hedgerow tree through much of its range because in winter it's the alternative host of black bean aphid that infests bean crops in summer, so it has been deliberately eradicated in some arable-growing areas.