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.