Two years ago, in 2014, I wrote about finally having a bloom on my devil’s walking stick (Aralia spinosa). Shortly after it started to bloom, the stem snapped in a summer storm and the flowers withered and died. Last year, much to my dismay, the same thing happened. My husband started to tease me about how could such a plant exist in nature.
|Viceroy and bees and wasps|
This year, the plant put out four inflorescences. Would this give me four times the heartache or a better chance at seeing one make it through? Well, you know by now that the answer is B, but I still had to suffer for a while. A storm came through and took out one of them. We were down to 3. A week later, another storm came and a second one failed the test.
|Tiger swallowtail goes inside the inflorescence|
The plant almost overhangs the swimming pool (not quite), and I had to fish out 5 honeybees from the water. I think they were too drunk to think straight. Two large somethings (wasps?) were so excited that they dropped to the concrete and consummated their love on the spot!
|Viceroy and others|
As we swam in the pool, enjoying the happy spectacle of this pollinator’s delight, a large orange butterfly could be seen nectaring from the flowers. I ran inside to get my camera, excited at the prospect of a monarch stopping by.
Actually, it was a viceroy, the first time I’d ever seen one. In addition to the tiger swallowtails, I’ve seen quite a few silver-spotted skippers too.
|Aralia spinosa on a wild roadside, short and suckering|
Now to look forward to the fruit display ....