The Shady Characters of Hobblebush Hollow

The shrub with huge, paired leaves is Hobblebush, another shade-tolerant plant. Its unusual flower clusters consist of an inner circle of small, green fertile flowers surrounded by a ring of large, white sterile flowers, the latter believed to help attract pollinators. In fall, Hobblebush leaves turn a beautiful bronze-red to purple, and the large “buds” that persist through winter are actually young leaves that lack protective scales, Set in pairs, these immature leaves look like praying hands! The nearby shrub with toothed maple-like leaves is Mountain Maple, which like Hobblebush, grows best in cool, shady moist sites.