Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hummingbird Flower

The picture above is from Gwynn's Island just past the Sea Breeze restaurant and their delectable popcorn shrimp. I need popcorn shrimp and I need it today. I know some of you understand this craving. The shot below is from the public landing road, with the soybean field in the background.

What is this flower called? They're everywhere here in Mathews. If it were a pest (which it isn't, I think it's beautiful) I would go so far as to say we have an infestation.

The hummingbirds love them.

Just yesterday, I knew the name and now that I need to retrieve that name from my memory bank, I can't do so. It's called panic under pressure. Or, early-onset Alzheimers. You choose. The label is immaterial, the end result is all the same. I can't remember anything.

After searching on the words "trumpet" and "hummingbird", I discovered the term "trumpet vine," which was not what I was racking my brain for, but which appears to be reasonably close to what this is.

Wikipedia says this about that:

"The flowers are very attractive to hummingbirds, and many types of birds like to nest in the dense foliage. The flowers are followed by large seed pods. As these mature, they dry and split. Hundreds of thin, brown, paper-like seeds are released. These are easily grown when stratified." (CBW Note: Am I the only one who has to pause for a moment over the word, "stratified?" Stratified. Satisfied. Sanctified. I think I could do something with these words, a song or a poem or something. Maybe another day.)

Continuing with Wikipedia:

"The vigor of the trumpet vine should not be underestimated. In warm weather, it puts out huge numbers of tendrils that grab onto every available surface, and eventually expand into heavy woody stems several centimeters in diameter. It grows well on arbors, fences, telephone poles, and trees, although it may dismember them in the process. Ruthless pruning is recommended. Outside of its native range this species has the potential to be highly invasive, even as far north as New England."

One of these is killing a wild cherry tree of mine. Hmmmm.

Looks like we have an infestation after all.


Living on the Spit said...

I do understand about "the craving"...these are beautiful and I understand about deciding the difference between regular growth and infestation...hmmm, a little bit of a delimma. I have always loved Mathews.

Mental P Mama said...

Would you please stop it with the popcorn shrimp? And I planted one of those hummingbird vines this year. There is not a single bloom on the darn thing. That's one infestation I would welcome.

Big Hair Envy said...

We have trumpet vines growing all throughout our woods and along the entire driveway. They are beautiful, and the hummingbirds are more than plentiful!! I'm not going to prune them until they approach the house:)

Grandma J said...

Once upon a time in Mathews, Trumpet Vines, ants and Fiddler Craps roamed unchallenged...until CBW sprung onto the scene..

Her mantra and battle cry was, "irradicate, irradicate..prune ruthlessly".


Bear Naked said...

I would love to get my hands on one of those plants.
I could have it planted at the base of the CEMENT WALL that is at the back (so I can't see the TRAFFIC on the 4-lane highway) of my yard.
Sob sob sob

Bear((( )))

Keeper Of All Things said...

I do not have a craving for popcorn shrimp.......
Well now I do

foolery said...

The only thing better than a trumpet is a bugle . . . and now I'm craving Bugles. Perfect.

Golden To Silver Val said...

We had one of those that grew into a small tree on the farm where I grew up. I thought it was beautiful, along with everyone else. Then our septic field got stopped up HORRIBLY. My dad discovered it was completely clogged with the roots of the trumpet vine tree and GOODBYE TREE. He eradicated it and it never even attempted to grow back.

Anonymous said...

Right now my Mama (pronounced 'mumma') has an infestation of those rascally vines in the fences on boths sides of her lane. When my father was alive, he would never have allowed it. Two years after his death, we are drowing in trumpet vines, mare's tails and a host of other unsavory weeds in the fence lines.

She recently employed a strapping young man to mow down all the vegetaion that the cows won't eat in the fences, but those wiley trumpet vines have become one with the fence posts and just could not be mowed.

Somewhere in the great beyond, my dear old daddy is not pleased with this situation. I think this may call for Roundup. It's definitely an infestation!

(Anonymous Mathews Native Residing in the Suburbs of Richmond)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Hey, y'all. Thanks for making me laugh. That's a hard thing to do after the day I've had. Among other things, I was attacked by a herd of fiddler crabs while trespassing and trying to snap photos on somebody else's property.

I'll write about all that tomorrow.

And here's a shout out to Anonymous Mathews Native - Thank you for correctly pronouncing Mamma. Nobody outside of this region (which is fairly broad, but pretty well-defined) seems to get it. They either put the emphasis on the wrong syllable or twist it into something it isn't. It is "mumma." Emphasis on the first syllable.

Have a wonderful evening, everyone, and may you never find yourself in the midst of fiddler crabs.

MommyTime said...

We had a trumpet vine growing up the side of our garage. Every year I would cut it down to the ground in fall, and every year it would grow to the roof peak over the course of the summer. In MICHIGAN. I think if I hadn't ever cut it back, it would have eaten the entire garage by now. Which might have been funny. But mostly annoying.

Karen Deborah said...

You aren't kidding these vines are invasive and could turn over a house. I mistakenly planted one, and have ripped it up and it's little sprouts forever more. I pull them up as often as they sprout. Hopefully my house will not get turned on it's head.
popcorn shrimp? As in little golden brown, deep fried, mouthfuls of yummy goodness? Dipped into both tarter and cocktail sauces, my favorite double dip which is absolutely killer, try it.
Memory? Don't worry I can't remember anything either.

Heidi said...

it looks like honey suckle vine, not to be confused with the hony suckle bush... I have them in my front yard and the humming birds are ALL over it like aswarm!!!

Heidi said...

it looks like honey suckle vine, not to be confused with the hony suckle bush... I have them in my front yard and the humming birds are ALL over it like aswarm!!!