Thursday, August 07, 2008

Devil's Darning Needles

I've been trying to identify this growth on a wild clematis, but without success. The orange scabby things remind me of the hawthorn fruits hijacked by a rust fungus, but the typical rusts that infest clematis are leaf-spots and small growths on leaves.

In my Web search, I did come across a new (to me) common name for Clematis virginiana L. from the USDA Plants Database: "Devil's Darning Needle." In my world, a Devil's Darning Needle is a dragonfly, and I seem to remember being told they would come and sew shut the lips of little children who asked too many questions. I'm not sure what Clematis virginiana L. is expected to sew up. I believe it is more commonly known as Virgin's Bower, and I cannot speculate on the origin of that name.

1 comment:

Larry said...

I've never seen the parasite you show growing on Virgin's Bower, but it reminds me of Cedar Apple Rust, a fungus hosted alternately by Eastern Red Cedars and both alien and native apple trees.

Native Clematis species are rather rare here in northern Missouri.

Nice photos!