Fiddlewood Citharexylum fruticosum
Fiddlewood grows to be a large thick bush. It gets little white flowers that bloom little by little down the length of the flower spike, so although each flower expires, the total bloom time goes on much longer. It has a heavy but nice fragrance that hovers in the still moist air after a southern summer rain. I like it.
Fiddlewood
Tiny white Fiddlewood flowers
Butterflies like it too. This orange and brown Ruddy Daggerwing Butterfly is peeking over the edge of the flower at me. When I get too close, it flies away, but lands on another flower nearby.
This much smaller black, red, and metallic blue Atala Butterfly is hanging beneath the flower enjoying a sip of sweet nectar.
Ruddy Daggerwing Butterfly Sipping Nectar from a Fiddlewood Flower
Atala Butterfly nectars on Fiddlewood
Every plant seems to have a pest, and Fiddlewood is no exception. This little stinkbug was lurking behind a flower, and these tiny black weevils were abundant on one Fiddlewood, yet oddly absent on one nearby.
Brown stinkbug on a Fiddlewood flower
Tiny reddish black weevil attacking Fiddlewood
Its whole snout pierced and impaled the flower bud:
The black weevils are extremely tiny, and they tend to hide when you approach, but you can tell if they're around by the bloom damage they leave behind. Here are some tiny holes drilled by the weevils.
Tiny reddish black weevil piercing a Fiddlewood flower bud
Fiddlewood flower bud damaged by a weevil
weevil damage
Plants provide habitat for lots of interesting bugs. The white zig-zag lines that crisscross this fiddlewood leaf with white diamonds let you know that a tiny spider is lurking nearby.
spider eggs, or perhaps saved snacks, forming angular lines and geometirc patterns on a Fiddlewood leaf
Fiddlewood
On one Fiddlewood bush, I saw this tiny reddish spider eat this long-legged fly and this small reddish fly with white stripes beneath its odd white webbing.
Long-legged fly killed by this tiny reddish brown spider on a Fiddlewood leaf
Pollinators are important; Fiddlewood provides a nice snack for bees. It gets wasp visitors too.
Bee enjoying a Fiddlewood flower
Ichneumon Wasp on a Fiddlewood leaf
Bee enjoying a Fiddlewood flower
That long slender bug in the middle is an Ichneumon Wasp. There were a few of the tiny wasps flying from leaf to leaf on the Fiddlewoods. I also noticed this dead ladybug. There was some minute debris below it on the leaf, and to its right the tiniest white bug, a whitefly? It was so small it could have landed on the moon of my fingernail and, wings spread, stood completely within it. Sorry, I don't think my camera's up to a much better look at that particular bug. There were also a couple of happier ladybugs.
dead ladybug and a minute whitefly(?) on a Fiddlewood leaf
Red ladybug with black spots on Fiddlewood, spotted beetle
Black ladybug with orange spots on Fiddlewood
Here are a few other bugs that I found on Fiddlewood. The fluffy white one is scale.
A white fluffy scale insect on a Fiddlewood leaf
bug on Fiddlewood
bug on Fiddlewood
Fiddlewood branch, leaves, and berries
After the flowers fade and fall, and the heavy scent dissipates, clusters of plump berries ripen from green to black. Berries attract more bugs like this leaf-footed bug.
Leaf-footed bug on a Fiddlewood leaf
I tried to make this little weevil sit still for a picture, and got more than I hoped when it spread its wings to escape!
small white spray of flowers on a Fiddlewood bush, Citharexylum fruticosum
Fiddlewood Bush, Berries
Fiddlewood weevil, wings spread, about to fly off of my hand
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