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.
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.
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.
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.
Plants provide habitat for lots of interesting
. The white zig-zag lines that crisscross this fiddlewood leaf
with white diamonds let you know that a tiny spider is lurking nearby.
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.
Pollinators are important; Fiddlewood provides a nice snack for
That long slender bug
in the middle is an
. 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.
Here are a few other bugs that I found on Fiddlewood. The fluffy white
one is scale
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
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!