Sunday, October 31, 2010


Hardhack (1) - Copy

Spiraea tomentosa

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This wildflower is a member of the Rose family. That explains why I was so confused when I saw it in the field out back. I thought it was a baby cherry tree at first, but it was the wrong time of year (July 31). It isn't even in my Vermont wildflower book. But it was on the New Hampshire wildflower site. It is not invasive or noxious, it's just a normal beautiful wildflower. It is also called steeple bush. There is a western version of this that has a different species name but does not grow here. It is a tall plant and attracts a lot of bees. The name hardhack refers to the toughness of the stem. It also "is a larval host and/or nectar source for: Columbia silkmoth (Hyalophora columbia)" (source: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center). Unfortunately, there are no recorded sightings of that moth in Vermont, but it has been seen in Maine. Next summer, maybe I'll find one here!

Columbia silkmoth


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