04 September 2008

The Kidneywood Lives

Just when the kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana) planted out front begins to disappoint, it decides to burst with sweet-scented white spires of flowers. This is a native Texas shrub or small tree (I'm going to prune mine up some day) that is very airy, and a great substitute (I think) for vitex. The leaves are pungent when crushed, and it blooms off and on throughout the season. The flowers smell divine.

Because of it's light, breezy look, it's really hard to take photos of, but here's my best shot.

This plant is about 3 feet tall, but it should get up to about 6 or 7 feet. I think that at this point in the summer, especially during a really dry one, nectar is hard to come by. Right now, the butterflies, moths and bees are positively swarming all over this plant. Way more than I was able to capture on film...

A hairstreak butterfly

A very striking day-flying moth (you can tell it's a moth because it holds its wings over its body like a tent - dead giveaway)

Halictid bee

A strange bee that may be a drone (male) honey bee. Need to do some research on this one, which is too dark to me a standard female worker honeybee.

Anyway, the kidneywood doesn't disappoint after all!


Pam/Digging said...

Nice pics of the insect life on your kidneywood. Mine is in full bloom too, and I was struggling to take pictures of it this morning. You are right---its airy form makes it very hard to capture. I'll post a few pics tomorrow.

You will see that mine is already taller than 6 or 7 feet. It's probably 9 or 10 feet, and there's a beautiful specimen at the Wildflower Center (near the Little House) that's much bigger than that.

Mary Beth said...

Kidneywood is native down here in the Valley too - your pictures make me want one . . . It'll have to go on my wish list.