Saturday, 10 August 2013

My hop plant has friends

It caused mold on the
old, wooden railings.
Aphids, mostly.

Last year we had an Io caterpillar.

Every year the tree frogs love it, as the bugs attract them in the night.

The plant is a climbing bine, and I have been beside myself trying to figure out how to support it.
They brew beer from them. I don't know if the previous house owner did this. It is an amazing beast.

Humulus, hop, is a small genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae.
Although frequently referred to as the hop "vine", it is technically a bine; unlike vines, which use tendrils, suckers, and other appendages for attaching themselves, bines have stout stems with stiff hairs to aid in climbing. It is a perennial herbaceous plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to the cold-hardy rhizome in autumn. Hop shoots grow very rapidly, and at the peak of growth can grow 20 to 50 centimetres (8 to 20 in) per week. Hop bines climb by wrapping clockwise (except for Humulus japonicus) around anything within reach, and individual bines typically grow between 2 to 15 metres (7 to 50 ft) depending on what is available to grow on. 

The Question mark and Comma butterflies like it, too.
The lady beetles eat the aphids.
Then there are the ants who eat the aphids.
The tree frogs are just the most delightful.

Question Mark butterfly

Eastern comma butterfly
it is as colourful as the Question mark!

Tricky to photograph

Fly on tree frog poo!

Macro fly
Peculiar little critters that fly!

Hops plant

The white aphid began to attack the gray aphid

Giant leap! It flew away.
Spring Peeper


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Fabulous insect photos ...and our friend the toad is always a welcome sight (although those bugs better look out!).

I have never known anyone who had their very own hop plant~ they are grown commercially near here (where we are in Oregon)...and they put up a kind of tent-shaped frame for them to twine on (a whole bunch of them growing on each frame).

Kay said...

Since moving back to Hawaii some six years ago, I'm having to get used to the abundance of insects and wildlife that changed since before we moved away about 40 years ago. Love all your photos. We even have ladybugs that are all blue. That was a surprise to me.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
...Super Bugs!!!! Those ladybirds are just gorgeous.