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Moist woods, often at high elevation.
Nova Scotia west to MI and south through the mountains to NC and TN.
Low spreading shrub, occasionally to 2 meters in height. Leaves pinnately veined and unlobed. Marginal flowers of the cyme sterile with a greatly enlarged corolla. Fruits red, turning darker with age.
Flowers in mid May
Wetland indicator: Facultative
The name hobblebush presumably refers to the propensity for this shrub to root where the shoots touch the ground, and thus making it a tripping hazard when walking through the woods. The fall color of this shrub can be quite remarkable, ranging from yellow to orange to purple, sometimes all on the same leaf. The correct name for this plant is said to be V. lantanoides Michx., though interestingly enough it is still a hobblebush. Silly, inconsistent scientific names...
Dirr, Michael A. 1998. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants:
Their Identification, Ornamental Characteristics, Culture, Propagation and Uses.
5th ed. Champaign, Illinois: Stipes Publishing L.L.C.
USDA, NRCS. 2002.
The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 (http://plants.usda.gov).
National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Michael Hough © 2005