In the spring, GGC member Marcia Hanke asked me to check out the beautiful white flowers that were growing in abundance on shrubs in her yard on her newly purchased property. My trusty app PictureThis identified them as hobblebush. The white flowers are hydrangea-like but what really intrigued me were the textured, heart-shaped leaves like valentines from Mother Nature.
I learned that when the tip of a branch touches the ground (which is often) they root themselves and grow more bushes making for a thick jumble of twigs and leaves. People bushwhacking through the forest were easily tripped up or hobbled in these under-story plants thus giving the Virburnum lantanoides its nickname.
During the growing season, I noted their progress and tried to capture their growing stages from white flowers to green, then red, then black, then no berries and their leaves from deep green to red with green veins. Most I came across while hiking but stopped again at Marcia’s house to see how her hobblebush stands were doing and got some more cool pictures in their fall colors.
Just like all the plants and flowers I have blogged about, whenever I come across one of them again, it’s like meeting up with an old friend.