#303 Hobblebush (Viburnum lantanoides)

31 December

Viburnum lantanoides (commonly known as hobble-bush, witch-hobble, alder-leaved viburnum, American wayfaring tree,[2] and moosewood) is a perennial shrub of the family Adoxaceae (formerly in the Caprifoliaceae), growing 2–4 meters (6–12 ft) high with pendulous branches that take root where they touch the ground. These rooted branches form obstacles which easily trip (or hobble) walkers – hence the common name.

The shrub forms large clusters of white to pink flowers in May–June. The flowers on the outer edge of the clusters are much larger (3–5 cm across). The whole cluster is typically 10 cm across. It has large, cardioid leaves which are serrate, 10–20 cm long. The bark is gray-brown and warty and the fruit is a red drupe, which turns to black when ripe.

The flowers provide nectar for the Celastrina ladon (Spring Azure) butterfly. Mammals and birds feed on its fruit, twigs, and leaves. The large showy flowers along the edge of the cluster are sterile, while the small inner flowers have both male and female parts

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