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Archive for May 16, 2014

Spring Azure

spring azure IMG_8425I inadvertently stated that Celastrina lado was the scientific name for Hobblebush. It is not! Hobblebush is a Viburnum, Viburnum lantanoides and Celastrina lado is the scientific name for the Spring Azure, one of Hobblebush’s pollinators. Thank you, readers, for catching this!

Hobblebush Flowering

5-17-14 hobblebush flowers 070When scouring the forest floor for spring ephemerals, don’t forget to look up – one of the most dramatic flowers of spring can be found on a woodland shrub called Hobblebush, Celastrina ladon. (The common name comes from the fact that its branches often bend to the ground and become rooted at the tips, making a walk through the wood somewhat treacherous…hence, one of its other common names, “Trip-toe.”) Hobblebush’s flowers are cleverly designed to attract pollinators — the large, showy, white flowers along the margins are actually sterile, their sole purpose being to lure insects, such as the tiny, blue Spring Azure butterfly. The smaller, less conspicuous flowers in the center of the cluster (just starting to open in this photograph) have reproductive parts and are the beneficiaries of visiting pollinators.

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