Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Witch Hobble


Attached are two images of witch hobble, also called hobble bush.  For those who aren’t familiar with the shrub, notice the large showy flowers clustered around the smaller inner flowers. In the attached larger image, many of the smaller inner flowers have not yet opened.  The outer flowers are sterile; the small inner flowers are fertile and have both male and female parts.

Hobble bush is one of the earliest spring-flowering shrubs; it grows 2-4 meters (6-12 ft) high.  The shrub gets its name from the fact that its branches take root where they touch the ground, easily forming obstacles that trip people walking in the woods.  The fruit is red, turning black when ripe.  Deer, moose, snowshoe hare and birds feed on the hobble bush’s fruit, twigs, and leaves.


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